A Waltham, Mass.-based defense contractor that completed an acquisition of United Technologies Corp. in April now is making a donation to help feed Connecticut’s hungry.

Raytheon Technologies is donating $5 million to 17 Feeding America member food banks. Here in Connecticut, Wallingford-based Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare in Bloomfield are the beneficiaries of Raytheon’s donation.

Greg Hayes, chief executive officer of Raytheon Technologies, said “the impact of COVID-19 on communities has been swift and unprecedented.”

“The communities where our employees live and work are in need, and it’s our responsibility to support our friends and neighbors during this crisis,” Hayes said in a statement.

The donation amounts to a little more than $294,000 per food bank. Daniel Gomez, chief operating officer for the Connecticut Food Bank, said demand for the organization’s service has increased by 50 percent or more since the coronavirus hit the state in March, the response to which closed businesses and putt people out of work.

“Prior to COVID-19, 1 in 9 people in our service area struggled with hunger, including nearly 77,000 children,” Gomez said in a statement.

The Connecticut Food Bank serves 500 food pantries and other hunger-related agencies in six Connecticut counties including New Haven and Fairfield.

Paul Shipman, a spokesman for Connecticut Food Bank, said the Raytheon donation comes at a opportune time. In addition to an increasing number of people needing the organization’s services, food donations from grocery stores that had made up 60 percent of Connecticut Food Bank stock have decreased, he said.

“With the increased demand and the decrease in donations, we’re having to buy more food to fill in the gaps,” Shipman said. “And food costs are high right now.”

Two single-day food distribution events in Norwalk and Bridgeport drew more than 3,200 cars between the two location, he said.

“We distributed 2.6 million pounds of food across our network in May,” Shipman said.

Foodshare is the regional food bank serving 118,000 people in Hartford and Tolland counties.

Connecticut Media Group