Community Soup Kitchen and Town Formalize Partnership
Hamden & CSK, Collaborating Since March, 2021
to Assist Our Community
Hamden - The Community Soup Kitchen and the Town of Hamden is very proud to celebrate its partnership of the last 7 months that has produced amazing work for our people struggling with hunger and food insecurity. What started as a pilot program to have the Keefe Community Center serve as a satellite location for Community Soup Kitchen will soon be formalized with a long-term agreement and a commitment of financial contribution to help support and expand upon this exceptional public service.
The Community Soup Kitchen at the Keefe Center operates every Wednesday evening and originally started with 50 meals served. That number has grown dramatically and in just 7 months has expanded to 450 meals served weekly. Community Soup Kitchen also supports a Farmers Market at the Keefe Community Center, which is held every other week, distributing produce and groceries and has greatly supported the Hamden Food Bank at Keefe by supplying additional food to distribute to clients. All of these distribution efforts adhere to the DASH Diet guidelines- DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
- The total amount of meals served in June and July was 4,213.
- The Farmers Markets distributed 63,486 pounds of food in June, July, and August.
- The Community Soup Kitchen also supplied 25,619 pounds of food to the Hamden Food Bank in June, July and August.
The Town is extremely grateful to Community Soup Kitchen for expanding its operations into Hamden and providing residents in-need with these added essential services, and in partnership, the Community Soup Kitchen is thankful for having the Town of Hamden as a strategic partner fighting food insecurity and hunger.
Fighting for services for residents in-need, and specifically food security, has been a priority for Mayor Curt Leng. Under his leadership the Hamden Food Security Task Force was created in partnership with the United Way of Greater New Haven and has grown with many partners working together to solve hunger issues in our community. In 2019, the Hamden Hunger Report was released, which illustrated that 1 in 8 Hamden residents were hungry. Hunger was an existing problem in Hamden and our region, and it was exacerbated greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Leng commented, “The network of faith groups, non-profits, our Hamden Public Schools and Keefe Center team, and others who have contributed to fighting hunger in Hamden is truly remarkable. Saying thank you does not fully express the gratitude I have for everyone involved, including our partner CSK. It is of paramount importance to formalize our relationship with Community Soup Kitchen and continue our partnership into the future for the benefit and long-term security of our residents.”
Joshua Lamarr Watkins, Executive Director of Community Soup Kitchen, said, “We are really looking forward to continuing this partnership with the Town of Hamden. We know there is a food insecurity problem and we are happy CSK can try to help aid in diminishing that problem one meal or one bag of groceries at a time. During an unprecedented year and a half like we have all just experienced, having food should not be another thing folks need to worry about. CSK and Keefe never ask for personal information in order to obtain meals as we never wanted there to be any limitations to this program. Our hope is that this can continue on for many years to come."