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Lamont transition gets busy on policy

CAFCA | November 27, 2018 |

Gov.-elect Ned Lamont wants input from a wide variety of individuals before taking office and putting together his first policy agenda and budget proposal. But the clock is ticking. He has 43 days, including holidays, until he takes office and three weeks after that before he has to propose his first budget to the General Assembly—and he has yet to announce that he’s hired a chief of staff or a budget director.

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Greater Hartford shelters launch campaign to help homeless families

CAFCA | November 02, 2018 |

By the end of November, shelters in the greater Hartford area have a goal of housing more than 200 homeless individuals and their families. They're calling it their "100-day challenge." It began in mid-August and will run until Nov. 23, which is the day after Thanksgiving. The focus is helping people return to housing. They're hosting 265 households out of the shelters.

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Donations measured in pounds at 20th annual food drive at Norwich Big Y

CAFCA | November 01, 2018 |

A box truck from Rogers Kitchens in Norwich parked at the 20th annual two-day food drive, and the tally in pounds donated for the morning hours doubled once they finished unloading. Rogers Kitchens delivered the fixings for about 25 Thanksgiving dinners — 720 pounds of frozen turkeys, canned vegetables, potatoes, yams and plenty of pumpkin pie filling and pie crusts — in the Norwich business’s 15th year of participating in the drive. Owner Jim Smith and his daughter, Courtney Smith, the business office manager, said the company is challenging businesses throughout the region to match its totals, or at least donate as much as they can to the annual food drive, which stocks the Gemma E. Moran/United Way Labor Food Bank. Jim Smith said the company’s donations have escalated over the years, and now they maintain the goal of providing 25 holiday meals, adding to the number and variety of side dishes and desserts each year. The ingredients for pumpkin pies were added recently.

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Donations measured in pounds at 20th annual food drive at Norwich Big Y

CAFCA | November 01, 2018 |

A box truck from Rogers Kitchens in Norwich parked at the 20th annual two-day food drive, and the tally in pounds donated for the morning hours doubled once they finished unloading. Rogers Kitchens delivered the fixings for about 25 Thanksgiving dinners — 720 pounds of frozen turkeys, canned vegetables, potatoes, yams and plenty of pumpkin pie filling and pie crusts — in the Norwich business’s 15th year of participating in the drive. Owner Jim Smith and his daughter, Courtney Smith, the business office manager, said the company is challenging businesses throughout the region to match its totals, or at least donate as much as they can to the annual food drive, which stocks the Gemma E. Moran/United Way Labor Food Bank. Jim Smith said the company’s donations have escalated over the years, and now they maintain the goal of providing 25 holiday meals, adding to the number and variety of side dishes and desserts each year. The ingredients for pumpkin pies were added recently.

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Generous donations bring food pantry back to full strength

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

The need for food pantry services is so great that it’s not unusual for clients of the New Britain Food and Resource Center on Osgood Avenue to walk from as far away as Willow Street and East Street every 15 days to get fresh produce, meat and a variety of staples, said site manager Michelle Torres. But due to funding cuts in recent years, the center was only open once a week and was not providing case management services. “There is a tremendous need, a tremendous need,” said Torres who works for the Human Resources Agency of New Britain, which runs the center. “That’s why when we were on the verge of closing, it was a scary thing.”

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'Untapped' talent engage skills training for better employment

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

Hector Marrero is beginning to understand the difference between a career and a job. The 21-year-old Hartford native had abandoned high school, adult education and other job-course programs. Nearly out of options, Marrero this spring enrolled in Hartford nonprofit Community Renewal Team's YouthBuild program for another shot at new learning opportunities, job training, meaningful employment and, ideally, a better life. Just months in, Marrero has earned his high school diploma, several construction certifications and a driver's permit. His goal now is to land a union job that pays a livable wage and provides growth opportunities.

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Staying warm this winter may cost more for American families

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

The cost of staying warm this winter is going to grow for the average American, and it’s going to be especially painful for those who rely on heating oil, a federal agency said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a 20 percent increase in spending for heating oil but more modest increases of 3 percent for electricity and 5 percent for natural gas. Propane expenditures are expected to be roughly on par with last year, the agency said. It’s tough news for residents of the Northeast, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the nation’s residential heating oil consumption.

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Conn.’s income growth lags behind N.Y., N.J., Census data shows

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

Yesterday's U.S. Census Report shows 'Connecticut, among the most unequal states in the nation, was again near the top of the list in 2017 with a so-called Gini income coefficient of 0.49. A 1.0 Gini score represents a society in which one person takes in all income, a 0.0 shows a society in which the income is spread evenly among all members.

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Journey 2 Wellness program helps people with HIV and AIDS

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

Curtis began taking his medication regularly after he attended the Journey 2 Wellness support program sponsored by the New Britain and Bristol Human Resources Agency. A woman said she is learning to live again thanks to the group after receiving what she thought was a death sentence when she was diagnosed with HIV years ago. Mary contracted HIV from a needle in her job as a nurse at a rehab center 38 years ago. “Because I found HRA, my life is a whole lot better,” she said.

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More families face food hardships

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

After several years of decline, the number of American households struggling to afford food for themselves and their families increased in 2017. According to a new report by the Food Research & Action Center, 15.7 percent of households faced food hardship in 2017, an increase from 15.1 in 2016. Until now, the rate had been declining since 2013, when it was 18.9 percent. Despite a low unemployment rate and economic growth in the U.S., Jim Weill, president of the Food Research & Action Center said people are still getting left behind and struggling to feed themselves and their loved ones.

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