A school “lunch lady” with a huge heart

By Ed Nicholson

Tim Cipriano calls himself a "lunch lady."  That’s simplifying things a bit.  Actually, he directs one of the most progressive school lunch programs in the country, for New Haven (CT) Public Schools, which prepares more than 17,000 lunches and 11,000 breakfasts a day for schools across the district.  It’s a tremendous program, that focuses on quality, nutritious food, prepared from scratch, where possible.

Tim is a passionate, articulate and tireless advocate for hunger relief.  In his job, he sees directly the effects of hunger on children.  He knows the scope and the depth of the problem. 

In addition to effectively managing a daunting day job, Tim also has a leadership role in Taste of the Nation New Haven, and has volunteered his time to lobby state legislatures on behalf of child nutrition appropriation. 

We caught up with Tim last week, when we made the WeCanEndThis donation in New Haven (for which he was largely responsible). 

He’s an inspiring guy.  It’s a privilege to know him

 

“I don’t want you to think I’m a bad mother.”

By Ed Nicholson

Just getting back from a great trip to Connecticut, where we made  WeCanEndThis donations to the Connecticut Food Bank and to Hartford’s Foodshare.  

It was a great trip in many ways: Traveling with my friend Scott Henderson; getting to see Tim Cipriano, passionate hunger fighter and Share Our Strength supporter,  who also runs what might be the most progressive school lunch program in the nation for the New Haven School District;  meeting great folks like Nancy Carrington, Gladys Alcedo and all the folks at CFB, and Gloria McAdam, Amanda Renna and all the folks at Foodshare; going to Wednesday evening’s Taste of the Nation New Haven event at Yale’s Woolsey Hall (wow!). 

One of the most inspiring things about visiting foodbanks is meeting and talking with the people who make it happen every day for hunger in their communities.  I try to get interviews with foodbank E.D./CEOs when I go out.  Which brings me to the title of this post.

Nancy Carrington, who’s been with the Connecticut Food Bank for 26 years, was particularly articulate about the work of the food bank, hunger in her community and misplaced stereotypes of hungry people.  She related a story about  a single mom she’d met at a soup kitchen, who provides a great example for us of how hunger is affecting people in our own neighborhoods.  The story starts right before the 3 minute mark in the video above.

Do you have any stories like this?  I’d like to hear them.