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 x 2

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 x2 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Andrea Savino

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

Andrea Savino originally came to CDR as a volunteer cook during the pandemic. She brings over 20 years of abundant skills in a multitude of areas including volunteer recruiting and coordination, human resources management, mental health services, and restaurant/catering industry. 

For the past 7 years she has worked for a national non-profit organization providing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trauma therapy training to underserved communities and disaster response coordination. 

Andrea is passionate about serving the community and can motivate and inspire individuals to do the same empowered by compassion and diversity. 

She is a Branford resident. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and Pilates. She also adores animals. 

Diana Vaicunas

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.

Mary Johnston

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.

Mary can be reached at cdrkitchencoordinator@gmail.com.

Our Board of Directors

  • Tony Pinto, Co-Chair

  • Carolyn Rambus, Co-Chair

  • Dylan Minter, Secretary

  • Joseph Calamita, Treasurer

  • John Opie, General Director

  • Skip Ferry, General Director

  • Daniel Armin, General Director

  • Diane Pappacoda, General Director