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.
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 1-3pm
Friday pick-up (2nd & 3rd Fridays) from 1-3pm
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.
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
Rita Foster, Secretary
Joseph Calamita, Treasurer
John Opie, General Director
Skip Ferry, General Director
Daniel Armin, General Director
Dylan Minter, General Director
Diane Pappacoda, General Director
Meet The CDR Staff
Executive Director – 203-488-9750 (ext. 4)
Judith Barron came to CDR a little over a year ago. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration 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. She has a knowledgeable background of an abundant amount of resources in the community for those in need. During her free time she is actively involved in youth sports with her children as well as many other organizations in her community.
Volunteer Coordinator – 203-488-9750 (ext. 2)
Marie has a BS from SCSU. Recently she has been a Site Supervisor for the School Aged Child Care Program (SACC) at Mary Tisko School in Branford. Prior to that she was the Children’s Director at a Connecticut Church for 12 years. In that role she developed programs and coordinated large groups of volunteers. She is passionate about working with volunteers. She enjoys fostering an environment of warmth, welcome and hard work where volunteers feel valued, respected and excited to be a part of a mission.
Marie lives in North Branford with her husband, Egon. Outside of work Marie loves spending time with her family and friends. She loves hiking and is a member of the North Branford Land Trust. She is also enthusiastic about going to the gym and challenging herself to achieve new fitness goals.
Administrative Assistant – 203-488-9750 (ext. 3)
Diana Vaicunas resides in Branford with her 3 children and fiancé. She brings to CDR a background in restaurant and office management with great enthusiasm. Her previous employers have always commended her on her organizational skills along with a friendly demeanor.
She has spent many years volunteering her time for youth sports organizations in her community. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends traveling and the enjoying the outdoors.
Kitchen Coordinator – 203-488-9750
Mary is the kitchen coordinator for the CDR where she plans all menus for our meal programs and manages as many as 100 volunteers a week in the kitchen. Mary has extensive knowledge of the food industry earning her pastry and baking certificate from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York city. Additionally, she completed an apprenticeship at Judie’s European Baked Goods in Branford as well as starting the bakery at the Orchard Hill Market. She combines her vast management skills and food knowledge to help feed the food insecure in our shoreline community.
As a lifetime runner, Mary 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 has recently run races for SongStrong and IRIS (Integrated Refugees and Immigrant Services). As a certified yoga instructor, Mary strongly believes in the mind-body connection and brings this philosophy to her work.