United Way Funds NHPS Food Truck, Will Provide Free Summer Meals

Monday, July 25, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
            Thanks to United Way, New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) Central Kitchen is going mobile with a new food truck that will serve kids throughout the city free healthy and nutritious meals this summer.
            Central Kitchen unveiled the truck today at a dedication ceremony. NHPS Executive Director of Food Services Chef Tim Cipriano praised United Way of Greater New Haven for providing the funds to buy the truck.
            “I want to thank United Way for its generosity in donating the money to purchase this food truck,” Cipriano said. “Thanks to United Way, we will bring good food directly to kids this summer and in future summers.
          “Good nutrition is an essential building block for healthy growth and development and educational success. Often, the biggest barrier for kids and teens to participate in the free summer meals program is not being able to get to where they served. Embracing Gov. Malloy’s Connecticut No Kid Hungry Campaign charge - “We’ve got to make this work for everybody. We’re going to make this work in Connecticut.”- United Way and New Haven School Food are tackling the transportation barrier by bringing meals to where kids and teens live.”
          United Way’s Summer Food Truck grant will enable NHPS to deliver two free meals a weekday – 1,000 free meals a day – to children living in underserved neighborhoods throughout New Haven.  Federal funds will pay for the program.
          New Haven School Food and United Way are partners in the Connecticut No Kid Hungry Campaign, an initiative to end childhood hunger in Connecticut by 2015 led by Gov. Dannel Malloy, End Hunger Connecticut! and Share Our Strength. This is the first food truck to serve free summer meals to children and teens in Connecticut. 
            Almost one in five Connecticut households with children -- 18.7% -- struggle to put food on the table, meaning more than 127,000 children in the state are considered food insecure. More than 75% of New Haven students qualified for free and reduced price school meals in 2010. However, of students enrolled in school meals programs, only one in four received meals last year through the federally-funded Summer Food Service Program.
          “Kids and teens do not stop needing healthy meals when school is out,” Cipriano said. “In fact, summer can be one of the toughest times for families who rely on school food programs to make ends meet.”
           The truck’s daily schedule of meal times and locations will be:  
·         Betsy Ross School, 150 Kimberly Avenue: Lunch, 10:30 a.m.-11:15a.m; Supper, 4-4:45 p.m.
·         Helene Grant School, 185 Goffe Street: Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; Supper, 5-5:45 p.m.
·         MicroSociety School, 311 Valley Street: Lunch’ 12:30-1:15 p.m.; Supper, 6-6:45 p.m.