Community food donations

April 24, 2020

Over the years, Yale Hospitality has had a long-term relationship with the city of the New Haven through providing food to soup kitchens, staff volunteering for fundraising, and participation in varied activities in support of the community. Maureen O’Donnell, Residential Dining General Manager, is well known for leading and directing many of these activities in the past, and it was no surprise to anyone that she would continue to do so during these challenging times. 

When Yale Hospitality was informed about surplus produce from one of its main distributors, Freshpoint, Maureen and her team reached out to soup kitchens and other community organizations that work in the space of food insecurities. Soon, there were truckloads of produce coming to Yale, which were then distributed among these organizations. Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK), Haven’s Harvest, and Loaves & Fishes were among the recipients. To date, this effort has provided 2,020 cases of fresh produce totaling 36,839 lbs., numerous cases of non-perishable foods and snacks, and daily distribution of sandwiches and salads prepared by Yale’s Culinary Support Center on Winchester Avenue. In addition, Yale Hospitality provides a multitude of dairy products, juices, vegetables, salad mixes, fruits, sandwiches, and hot meals.

Some testimonials from Yale Hospitality’s community partners:

Steve Werlin of DESK:

“All of the produce we received yesterday from YH went out yesterday throughout our weekly food pantry. We served 144 households (representing over 360 people), of which 42 households were delivered to the homes of people who are over 60, immuno-compromised, or have tested positive for COVID-19. It was a pantry day that was heavy on fresh produce, which is amazing! Our patrons were extremely grateful! Thank you so much for your support, and please let me know if additional produce becomes available!”

Lori Martin of Haven’s Harvest:

“Your entire team is always so wonderful to work with. Every volunteer gets back to me about how gracious, friendly, and caring you all are. Thank you, especially now in this unsettling time of COVID-19, for your support for the community. The food donated has been going to neighborhood hubs around the city- and is shared from there. The last produce donation was shared largely through the Mutual Aids groups and a daily soup kitchen, in the Hill neighborhood.”

James Cramer of Loaves & Fishes:

“Thank you so much for the produce that you donated to us! We sent out 510 bags of groceries to families across New Haven County. In providing great fresh produce to our neighbors in need, you are helping people stay healthy while they are sheltering in place. The more complete of a bag of groceries we can offer, the fewer times that folks need to leave their homes and risk exposure to COVID-19. We appreciate your donation so much and know that it is going a long way to mitigating hunger during this crisis.”

Yale Hospitality is grateful to have the ability to help our community during this pandemic, and we will continue to do so as we move forward.