In 2011, United Way of Greater New Haven and New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) unveiled Connecticut's first Summer Food Truck that delivers free, nutritious meals to kids throughout the city. The New Haven Food Truck, which was made possible by a grant from United Way, has allowed NHPS's Central Kitchen to provide free meals on summer weekdays – 1,000 free meals a day – to children living in under-served neighborhoods throughout New Haven. Federal funds pay for the program. In its first summer, the truck served more than 16,000 meals in 22 days of service.
Through community conversations, United Way's Women's Initiative learned that with a refrigerated food truck, an existing summer meals program could be expanded to serve more children in their own neighborhoods. In the summer of 2011, the newly formed Women's Initiative group stepped up to purchase the food truck in what became the group's first signature project.
NHPS and United Way are partners in Connecticut's No Kid Hungry campaign - an initiative led by End Hunger Connecticut!, Gov. Dannel Malloy, and Share Our Strength - to end childhood hunger in Connecticut by 2015. This is the first food truck to serve summer meals to children and youth in Connecticut.
In households with children, almost 1 in 5, or 18.7%, struggle to put food on the table, which means that more than 127,000 Connecticut children are considered food insecure.
In New Haven, more than 75% of the students qualify for free and reduced price school meals.
Of students enrolled in school meals programs, only one in four received meals in 2010 through the federally-funded Summer Food Service Program.
Kids and teens do not stop needing healthy meals when school is out. In fact, summer can be one of the toughest times for families relying on school food programs to help them make ends meet.
Good nutrition is an essential building block for healthy growth and development and educational success. Often times, the biggest barrier for kids and teens to participate in the free summer meals program is simply not being able to get there.
There are currently 30 Summer Food sites in New Haven that serve breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday until mid-August during the summer months. The Food Truck delivers free lunch and dinner to kids 18 and under to sevearl locations citywide Monday through Friday.
Media Coverage and Videos of The Food Truck:
- News 8 WTNH Morning Show Video - 7/10/12
- Food Truck Hits The Streets article- 7/10/12
- Fox CT video - 6/5/12
- Star 99.9 FM Radio - 9/9/11
- Yale Daily News article - 8/31/11
- New Haven Public Schools
- Fox CT News - 7/25/12 Launch
- NBC CT News - 7/25/11 Launch
- WTNH CT Style Show video- 10/16/11
If you have any questions regarding the Food Truck times, location or eligibility, please contact Tim Cipriano at NHPS Central Kitchen (203) 946-8813 x11 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about the partnership, please contact Kathy Hart-Jones at (203) 691-4202 or via email at email@example.com