Rep. Cook Welcomes $2 Million in State Bond Funding for Friendly Hands Food Bank

December 15, 2023

Rep. Cook Welcomes $2 Million in Bond Funds for Friendly Hands Food Bank in Torrington


State Rep. Michelle Cook (D-Torrington) is pleased to announce that the State Bond Commission approved a bond request of $2 million on Friday to purchase a new building for Torrington's Friendly Hands Food Bank, allowing the organization to expand services to the community.

"Nobody should go hungry," said Rep. Cook. "The need is great and there is a desire to reach more people once the new location is found and established. I want to thank Governor Ned Lamont, the State Bond Commission, and the Speaker's Office for seeing and fulfilling the needs of Friendly Hands Food Bank, serving Torrington and the entire northwest corner of Connecticut."

"Thirty-two years ago, Friendly Hands Food Bank was established to fight food insecurity in the basement of Maureen Hubert's home on King Street in Torrington," said Danny Hartnett, Friendly Hands Food Bank's Board President. "In 2000, it was relocated just down the street to the current location at 50 King Street. Over the years, the client base was consistent. Then the pandemic hit in 2020 and the client numbers began to climb. Today's number exceeds 5,700 clients. Contained in the 5,700 are all daycare facilities and senior facilities in Torrington and Winsted, plus our clients that visit us daily at the King Street location. As numbers continued to climb, the 1,600 square foot space became smaller, and storage capacity became very limited. We've had to rely on several community partners to store items for us."

"Our current location in a residential area does not allow for public distributions, which have become a staple that our community desperately needs," said Karen Thomas, Executive Director of Friendly Hands Food Bank. "We are beyond excited to accommodate all who face food insecurity in Connecticut, by utilizing a larger facility and adding much-needed programs. We are grateful to Governor Lamont, Representative Cook, and all at the State of Connecticut who have made this expansion possible to address food insecurity in Connecticut."

"Every corner of the current location has been maxed out and the increase in traffic to this residential neighborhood has become burdensome to the neighbors," said Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone. "We are tremendously grateful that the State of Connecticut recognizes the criticality of this service to our community and the necessity to move this operation to a larger space that guarantees integrity and dignity in food distribution. This grant will allow Friendly Hands Food Bank to continue to provide support for our community well into the future."

Friendly Hands Food Bank and Rep. Cook, who also serves as a volunteer member of the FHFB Board of Directors, will host the second annual "Food Insecurity Day" at the State Capitol on April 25, 2024, at 11 a.m.

To learn more about Friendly Hands Food Bank, visit

Representative Cook represents the 65th House District, serving Torrington.


Governor Lamont, Rep. Cook, Karen Thomas, and Danny Hartnett of Friendly Hands Food Bank on December 15.