Davenport during COVID-19
NSS Inc. continued food assistance at the Davenport Residence for senior residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting in February 2020, a highly infectious SARS-2COVID viral pandemic began globally and spread into Connecticut, including the Greater New Haven area. There was an increase from 44% to 56% of the senior resident population who asked for the NSS, Inc. food pantry service. Senior residents also needed greater amounts of food supplies because of fluctuating food shortages.
We surveyed this enlarged senior population to determine the role of the NSS, Inc. food pantry assistance served in the overall food insecurity at the Residence during the pandemic summer months (July-September).
Responses from 75 pantry users out of a total of 153 responses to the survey questionnaires (49%), disclosed that the food pantry prevented many of the seniors from being hungry (not having enough to eat).
This finding was statistically significant, and demonstrated the value of the on-site food pantry for food security of the population during this crisis time period.
78 of the respondents did not use the food pantry program but answered that they did not have enough to eat and had to make decisions to pay for other supporting expenses:
Although seniors not receiving food from the food program were hungry (food insecure), they did not want to participate in the pantry program because of embarrassment for seeking help for obtaining food. Many wanted the satisfaction of selecting food they wanted, even if it involved using limited financial resources to obtain those desired foods.
Due to the closure of the Davenport Buildings, the NSS, Inc. food pantry became a “delivery” service at the doors of the Davenport buildings.
‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. Hence NSS, Inc. food pantry began to operate via e-commerce operation for individualized direct delivery service in mid-2021.
From the experiences of obtaining large amounts of food supplies during ‘snags’ in the food chain and local food shortages, NSS, Inc. begin a partnership with Levo International to foster the development of hydroponic gardening units that have great promises of providing a local source of nutritious produce in urban environments. Multiple test units were set up at various locations, under NSS, Inc. sponsorship.