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Photo of Senator Joan Hartley.

STATE SENATOR

Joan Hartley

An Independent Voice

Helping Your Neighbors This Thanksgiving

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. You may recall the history of this national holiday began in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists--who were on the brink of starvation and decimated by disease--were befriended by Native Americans who taught them how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish and avoid poisonous plants. After the Pilgrims' first successful harvest, a three-day feast was held between the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. But it wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that a national Thanksgiving Day should be held each November.

Connecticut Food Bank.

Food is a central part of Thanksgiving Day, and is a central part of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's Day. But not everyone can afford to enjoy a meal with friends and family during the holidays, or any day. In Connecticut, it is estimated that about one in seven households--14 percent of our population--are 'food insecure,' meaning they have a reduced quality, variety, or desirability of food in their diet. Children are affected, too.

Please take a moment to think of your neighbors and of those less fortunate than you. You can visit the Connecticut Food Bank website to find a local food pantry near you that is accepting food or cash donations, or is in need of volunteers.