The Community Dining Room

Meal Services We Provide

Sunday-Friday: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuesday Kid’s Night Meal: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Wednesday & Friday Night Take-Out: Pick-Up 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Monday/Wednesday/Friday
(North Branford Home Delivery Every Wednesday)
Call for details: (203) 488-9750

Current Programs We Provide

The CDR serves a hot, nutritious lunch in our dining room. This well-balanced meal begins with soup followed by a main course including protein, carbohydrate and vegetable; finishing always with dessert. Those who attend this community lunch help themselves to a cold beverage or coffee and find a seat with friends or welcoming others. CDR volunteers serve lunch directly with a friendly greeting. Many hungry and lonely individuals structure their day with a visit to the Community Dining Room and sharing a meal.

Sunday through Friday lunch served from 12pm-1pm

Saturdays brunch served from 11am-12pm

Every Tuesday the CDR hosts a family dinner for families with children. This program offers a family-friendly menu followed by crafts, games or entertainment for kids. Promoting social diversity, periodically this dinner will highlight a different culture through the foods offered for dinner, and activities chosen for the group. Offering families an opportunity to “go out to dinner” together is an important component of this program. Many hard working families in our shoreline neighborhoods are having trouble making ends meet. This program offers help and support.

Tuesday family meal served at 5:30pm followed by activity for kids until 6:30pm.

Lost hours at work or been laid off? Feeling the difficulties of the economic downturn? Unable to come to our daily lunch. Order your family dinner to ease your budget. Pre-register and call in for your meals. Contact 203-488-9750 for more information. Wednesday pick-up from 4-5:30pm

Friday pick-up (2nd & 3rd Fridays) from 4-5:30pm

You may have supported us in the past; let us lend a hand during these difficult times. Use this dinner for any meal or as an after school snack. Call and order this nutritious and delicious food for your family.

This program provides home delivered meals. Individuals who are unable to access the CDR due to physical or health reasons or are recuperating from an illness or surgery may qualify to participate. Through referrals and intake assessments, individuals become eligible for this program which serves the Branford and North Branford area. Our home visitation program, helping to dispel isolation and loneliness, offers additional assistance. Providing nutritional and social support to these individuals will improve their quality of life, assist in their recovery and help them remain in their own homes, in some cases delaying entry to nursing facilities.

Branford delivers one hot meal and one frozen meal, 3 days a week.

North Branford delivers one hot and one frozen meal, 1 day a week.

This program provides an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to try kitchen and food preparation work as a vocation. Area agencies participate in this exciting hands-on teaching opportunity.

Each first and second Saturday of the month, students from area schools can meet their school volunteer requirements at the Community Dining Room. We offer youth an opportunity to learn the merits and joys of volunteering while helping others with basic human needs.

  • Serves over 4,500 meals each month.

  • Serves a hot lunch daily in our dining room.

  • Offers a home-delivery program to Branford and North Branford residents.

  • Friendly Visitor Program.

  • Provides an evening family dinner.

  • Hosts special holiday dinners at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • Offers community service opportunities to youth.

  • Meets our guests’ emotional, physical and material needs through referrals to social service agencies, medical screenings and crisis counseling.

  • Provides nutritional support to seniors in an effort to delay entry into nursing homes.

  • Collaborates with the Connecticut Food Bank, the Greater New Haven Emergency Food Council, End Hunger Connecticut, and the Visiting Nurses Association and many other community members.

Our Board of Directors

  • Tony Pinto, Co-Chair

  • Carolyn Rambus, Co-Chair

  • Joseph Calamita, Treasurer

  • Rita Foster, Secretary

  • Charlene Marqua, Fundraising

  • John Opie, General Director

  • Skip Ferry, General Director

  • Diane Pappacoda, General Director

  • Daniel Armin, General Director

  • Robert Franchini, General Director

Our Executive Officers

  • Judith Barron, Executive Director

Meet The CDR Staff

Judith Barron

Executive Director – 203-488-9750 (ext. 4)

Judith Barron came to CDR a little over a year ago.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Albertus Magnus College.  Judith was employed with the Town of North Branford as a Supervisor for their Recreation / Senior Center for 11 years.  Prior to her employment with North Branford she spent some time working with SARAH, Inc. as a Community Experience Instructor and Marrakech, Inc. as a Group Home Counselor.

Judith also worked for the State of Connecticut for four and a half years as a Judicial Marshal.  During her free time she is actively involved in youth sports with her children and is the President of Branford Youth Cheerleading as well as Coach for the past three years as well as the Treasurer, Fundraiser, and Coach for Branford Girls Softball the past four years.  She has a knowledgeable background that has been a wonderful fit for the Executive Director of the Community Dining Room.

Tabitha Brown

Volunteer Coordinator – 203-488-9750 (ext. 2)

Tabitha (Tabby) has graduate degrees in Human Services from Post University, she has been in the human services field for over 20 years. She came to the Community Dining Room, Inc. as Volunteer/Program Coordinator after working for Sarah Tuxis Residential & Community Resources first as a group home manager, then a Program coordinator. Tabby also interned at the Community Dining as a part of her degree. Tabby also worked in multiple educational setting and is familiar with many different services and programs.

Tabby has live in Connecticut for over 10 years and lives with her husband and adult children. Tabby is originally from Vermont where she lived until she was 26, then moved to New Hampshire and lived there for 17 years before coming to Connecticut.

Barabara Barrett

Home Delivery Coordinator & Administrative Support – 203-488-9750 (ext. 3)

Barbara was born and raised in Bridgeport and Stratford CT.  She attended Bunnell High School in Stratford, and graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in Economics.  While starting working at the Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) in the Information Technology department, she attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and graduated with a Master of Business Administration in 1982.

In 1983, she moved to Branford.  Her career with SNET, SBC, and AT&T continued in the Information Technology organization as she progressed in the company from analyst, team lead, staff manger, director and finally executive director.  After over 35 years, I retired from AT&T in December 2013. With more free time and to a desire to help in my community, she began volunteering at the James Blackstone Memorial Library, Shubert Theater, and the Community Dining Room.    Recently she was asked to join the CDR on a part time basis to help out administratively.

Mary Johnston

Kitchen Coordinator – 203-488-9750

Mary has extensive knowledge of the food industry, earning her Pastry & Baking Certificate from The Institute of Culinary Education, NY, NY and completing an apprenticeship at Judie’s European Baked Goods in Short Beach. Mary also started the in-house Bakery at the Orchard Hill Market in Branford in 1991. With a passion for those in need, she is able to combine her management skills and food knowledge in a position well suited to her here at the CDR.

Her passion carries into her free time activities. As a lifelong runner she has raised more than $10,000 for organizations such as The Breast Cancer Foundation, Pan Mass Challenge and Run for Something Better (helping Kids Stay Healthy). She completed The Big Sur Marathon in California in April. Mary organizes Free Yoga on the Branford Green during the summer months. Mary’s greatest inspiration comes from her mother, Mary Dolores, having raised eight children always reminding them to be “grateful for the food on our plates as so many had nothing”. Mary thoroughly “loves coming to work and having the opportunity to work with our dedicated volunteers!”