State Wants To Feed Hungry Kids This Summer | Connecticut Public Radio

State Wants To Feed Hungry Kids This Summer

May 17, 2011

If Tim Cipriano has his way, food trucks won't just be for trendy urbanites anymore.

"It's like the big craze out there so we're looking to capitalize on the craze and get one donated to us that's similar to an ice cream truck that would be outfitted with refrigeration," Cipriano says.

Cipriano is a chef and director of food services in New Haven's public schools. He wants to use the truck to deliver meals to areas that aren't covered by the summer food service program. Right now, most of the food is served at schools, parks and summer camps.

Connecticut's Department of Education has the money to feed 36,000 poor children this summer, they just have to get the meals delivered. The state fed lunch to around 33,000 children five days a week last summer, but there are still thousands of eligible kids who are missing out.

Tom Murphy is with Connecticut's Department of Education, which oversees the meal program statewide.

"We are seeing with the recession, greater number of families that are becoming eligible under the federal guidelines and are doing what we can to extend those opportunities," Murphy says.

Murphy says the department is trying to recruit help distributing meals in East Haven and Greenwich this year.

"You know you say well, wait a minute, Greenwich? But there are families in even our wealthiest communities that would benefit from programs such as this," Murphy says.

He says the department is looking for organizations that can reliably deliver the boxed lunches.

In the meantime, Cipriano and others are starting a new campaign to improve the free and reduced lunch program. Governor Dannel Malloy is scheduled to speak at the launch of Connecticut's No Kid Hungry program on Wednesday.