• Charity
  • Farid Foundation
  • Holidays
  • meals
  • Non-profit support
  • nutrition
  • Philanthropy
  • Tariq Farid donations
  • Tariq Farid Foundation
  • volunteers

With the arrival of November, my thoughts naturally turn to the holidays . . . and food. One of my true joys is celebrating with family and friends at a dinner table overflowing with good food and great conversation.

For many, however, food is not about celebration. It is about survival. That’s why my thoughts at this time of the year also turn to organizations such as the Community Soup Kitchen of New Haven. This small group of dedicated individuals is at the forefront of making sure that everyone — regardless of personal or financial situation — has access to regular nutritious meals.

With a paid staff of only three, a volunteer coordinator, an all-volunteer Board and an enthusiastic army of volunteers, the Community Soup Kitchen provides breakfast and lunches four days a week as well as other services. Their guests, as they refer to those they serve, include the jobless, homeless, elderly, those living with AIDS, those living on welfare, the mentally ill, chronic substance abusers, single parents, the working poor, veterans, and the lonely and hungry people of our community.

Their mission is simple, yet inspiring:

  • To provide free, nutritious meals on a regular basis in the downtown New Haven community for the benefit of the poor and underprivileged.
  • To enhance the dignity and sense of worth of all those who come to the kitchen by welcoming them wholeheartedly and warmly as guests of CSK.
  • To provide our guests with access to various services during their visits, such as flu shots, warm winter clothing and educational and job referrals.

As their mission states, in addition to providing free nutritious meals, the Community Soup Kitchen also often teams with other agencies such as Hill Health Center, and the ACCESS mental health outreach team, as well as employment and pre-employment resources.

Twice each week they work with Saint Luke’s Services to provide lunch for needy women and children and they also provide bagged lunches for the homeless outreach program at Fellowship Place.

Director Dave O’Sullivan and his team make all of this happen with an annual budget of just a few hundred thousand dollars and without any state or federal funds. Fortunately they receive some food from government programs, grants from the City of New Haven as well as contributions from individuals and organizations. I am honored to say that those supporting organizations include the Tariq Farid Foundation, and it is my hope that others will join us in making sure that no one in their community goes hungry, not just during the upcoming season of celebration, but every day of the year.

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  • Charity
  • Edible Arrangements
  • HUBCAP Wallingford
  • Master's Manna
  • passion
  • Philanthropy
  • Tariq Farid Foundation
  • volunteers

Over the years I am constantly amazed at the number of organizations and dedicated individuals who are working on a daily basis to help others. Often these organizations are right in our own backyard.

I had the opportunity to visit with two such organizations recently, and came away more convinced than ever that the need is great, and so is the importance of supporting those who are meeting that need.

The first was Master’s Manna, a local food pantry by first glance, but in reality so much more. I was given a tour by Executive Director Cheryl Trzcinski, and I was stunned at what they are able to accomplish with a limited staff and how they have so many engaged volunteers.

Edible Arrangements has provided fresh fruit to the organization in the past, but I had no idea about the full range of services until I took the tour.

The place was a beehive of activity while we were there: families were shopping for food at the food pantry, others were eating in the Family Dining Center, clothing was being sorted and hung by volunteers, two students from the Summer Youth Employment Program were in orientation, the Community Health Center was in operation providing primary health care to anyone who needed it, and much, much more.

Cheryl said it was just a “typical day.”

We are fortunate to have people such as Cheryl and her team at Master’s Manna in our community.

I also had the pleasure of meeting recently with several founders of HUBCAP Wallingford, a small business incubator that works with our local school system to provide students with mentoring opportunities with local businesses.

After touring HUBCAP and hearing what its founders are trying to accomplish, I knew I had to help. Their mission reminded me of my own experience of working at a flower shop while in elementary school and being encouraged and inspired by the owner. I have been blessed to meet so many people over the years that gave me kind words of advice, and here is an organization doing the same.

When I created the Tariq Farid Foundation it was exactly these types of organizations that I was hoping to be able to support, and I was honored to be able to do so.

The passion of the individuals involved with these two organizations and the work they do is truly inspirational. I know that in every community across America there are similar organizations and individuals doing their part to build a stronger community, and I encourage you to seek them out and offer your support.

Sadly, there will always be a need, but fortunately there are those who are ready and willing to help. As leaders of our community, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to fulfill their mission.


I am excited to announce the launch of a new website for the Tariq Farid Foundation. To learn more about our work, please click here to visit The Tariq Farid Foundation.



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