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Article Published May 20, 2020

A Round of Applause

By Ken Engelman

COVID-19 has thrown a curve ball at all of us (your readers and their neighbors) in ways we never thought would happen. With this, I have been volunteering for different non-profit organizations to do my part in assisting our community (I hope this letter inspires others to volunteer, too).

There is one non-profit organization that stands out to me because of the commitment and passion of the leadership team: The Community Dining Room at 30 Harrison Ave in Branford. Due to COVID-19, it has doubled its service capacity while developing a brand-new system to serve those in need—with minimal volunteers to keep our community safe.

Even before COVID, every day Executive Director Judy Barron and Volunteer/Program Coordinator Tabby Brown had to deal with situations most of us cannot imagine, so when you add COVID into the mix, massive unemployment numbers, and additional families finding themselves food insecure, playing defense becomes the new normal for them and their staff/volunteers.

Many restaurants and residents have stepped up to help, but to keep calm and collect in this chaos is not an easy task. Day after day, for over two months now, their team has given more time, effort, and extra compassion than most would expect, so this should be acknowledged. My thanks go to Judy, Tabby, and the CDR team for taking care of all our neighbors along the shoreline that they continue to serve. They all deserve a round of applause!

Ken Engelman
Branford