New Milford Social Services Director Peg Molina and the New Milford Food Bank were recently recognized as one of four essay contest winners as part of the One A Day Women's Nutrition Mission.

In recognition, the Connecticut Food Bank will receive a $25,000 grant.

The New Milford Food Bank is a limited member of the Connecticut Food Bank.

The New Milford Lions Club and other food bank volunteers procure food for the community twice a month, and the Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut based in New Milford and the Our Daily Bread food pantry, based at the New Milford United Methodist Church, are members of the Connecticut Food Bank.

Grants totaling $100,000 were distributed to the four essay contest winners around the country.

The grants competition kicked off in April with the goal of celebrating and honoring the work of the volunteers.

Food insecurity is a problem in the United States, with some low-income families having to choose, at times, between buying food essentials and paying the rent or other basic living expenses, according to a release. More than 50 million Americans live in food-insecure households, the release stated.

This Hunger Action Month, the One A Day Women's Nutrition Mission -- an ongoing, national charitable campaign with Feeding America -- is celebrating and honoring those who make "exemplary efforts to fight food insecurity and hunger in their communities," officials stated.

Locally, when Molina started her nutrition mission, working with Connecticut Food Bank's food-assistance partner, New Milford Food Bank, it was helping 30 to 40 households per week.

Through her work and the development of a successful culinary training program, New Milford Food Bank now feeds more than 150 families weekly. Not only has the program had a significant impact on hunger in the community, it has allowed many unemployed participants to secure food service jobs, officials said.