Community Dining Room
30 Harrison Ave.
Branford CT 06405
Contact Information
Address 30 Harrison Ave.
Branford, CT 06405-
Telephone (203) 488-9750 x
Fax 203-488-0447
Web and Social Media
The mission of the Community Dining Room (CDR) is to end hunger and isolation with food, fellowship, referrals and education.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1985
Former Names
The Soup Cellar, Inc.
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Charity Type III Supporting Organization-functionally integrated
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Patricia Kral
Board Chair Dr. Kim Pham
Board Chair Company Affiliation Quinnipiac University
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $193,000.00
Projected Expenses $193,000.00
Mission The mission of the Community Dining Room (CDR) is to end hunger and isolation with food, fellowship, referrals and education.
Background   The Community Dining Room is a private, not-for-profit organization providing valuable and necessary food, social support and companionship to the greater Branford, south central Connecticut shoreline region from Clinton to East Haven. In 1985 several Branford community leaders and clergy members came together to discuss the needs of the hungry and those struggling in their town. It was decided a soup kitchen would be an important addition to the social services available. The Soup Cellar, as it was called at that time, began serving hot lunches every day. Special holiday dinners were held for guests, volunteers and any who would like to join in; these continue today.     
  • met the need for food support in our community
  • continue food pick-up program for underemployed
  • friendships are built and continue at the lunch table
  • programs for CDR clients and the community at large address hunger and health issues
  • referrals to additional supports and federal hunger programs are available


  • food--all types
  • financial support
  • packaging materials for food delivery:  large and small baggies, etc.
  • volunteers for kitchen work and fund raising
  • friendly visitors and home delivery drivers
  • kitchen equipment
CEO Statement
The Community Dining Room is a well established and dependable organization providing critical social service supports to the south central Connecticut shoreline from Madison to East Haven and North Branford.
These services include food support, home delivered dinners, health and nutrition education and community service opportunities for students.
Board Chair Statement
One of the great joys and honors of being Chair of the board of directors of the Community Dining Room is the assurance that this well established organization, which has been in operation over twenty-five years, continues to serve the shoreline community for those in need.
As more and more individuals and families, many for the first time through loss of jobs and/or reduced work hours and, in some cases, their homes, have found help in Community Dining Room food assistance and social referral programs to meet their essential needs, I am reminded of the enormous strides the family of volunteers, staff and board members have made in meeting these needs of our shoreline community.  We are doing this at a most critical time in our history as food prices increase and social service agencies face budgetary constraints.
The CDR's impact on the community continues to flourish through our home delivery program with its expansion into home visitation, our Tuesday evening dinner for families, our daily hot meals and our new initiative with our Wednesday Night Take Out program.  These collective programs are seeing a 20% increase on average as we witness more and more folks seeking assistance.
Our success has depended on competent oversight of our programs and our volunteers.  We have a solid foundation, and we are dedicated to continuing our growth through innovative programs by developing new programs as needed while identifying changes that will improve our effectiveness and support systems.
As chair of the board of directors, I have been given the opportunity to be a leader in assessing our ever evolving role in our community while engaging in joint efforts in developing an even stronger organization as the leading facility on the shoreline that provides daily meals for the hungry.  The economy continues to present challenges as unemployment rises.  The good news is some of the negative economic indicators are starting to level off somewhat.  I feel sanguine about our abilities to forge ahead.  As chair, I have enormous confidence about the future progress in meeting our food security goals.
As we continue to focus on shared values that make a difference, our abilities to build on our successes to ensure that the Community Dining Room continues in this distinctive role along the Connecticut shoreline remain solid and intact.
Judy Stebbins, Chair
Board of Directors
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition / Food, Agriculture & Nutrition NEC
Secondary Organization Category Human Services / Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash)
Tertiary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Public & Societal Benefit NEC
Areas Served
East Haven
North Branford
The CDR serves all ages from infants to older adults.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
  • volunteers are welcome for all CDR programs and fund raising activities
  • attendance at fund raising activities is encouraged-bring your friends
  • food and financial support is needed
  • please refer neighbors in need to our programs
Description Home delivered dinners for the Branford community serve over 50 individuals each week on a daily basis.  Friendly visiting is offered to program recipients and made available upon request.  Last year over 16,000 meals were provided to frail elderly and others suffering with chronic illness.  Families report this nutritional support  helps delay entry to nursing facilities and improves quality of life for their family menbers.
Population Served / /
Held Sunday through Friday and every Saturday this 12 Noon --1:00 lunch is free and open to all who seek food support.  Usually 50 to 85 persons receive a hot nutritious lunch on any given day.  Some come for food support alone while others, grappling with lonliness as well as the issues of those living on small incomes, find a freindly face and listening ear each noontime. 
Population Served / /
Families with children attend this dinner which offers not only a kid friendly menu but, working with Read To Grow-story time and free book distribution, craft projects and cultural diversity nights which highlight different groups with typical local foods, dress, stories and poems, music and other creative additions.  Parents have a chance to enjoy a family dinner "out" while their kids receive educational experiences.  Anywhere from 8 to 25 families stretch their weekly budgets by attending this educational and delicious dinner.  This educational program provides students with learning experiences outside the regular school setting.
A take-out dinner program has been added to this Tuesday dinner for individuals and families unable to attend the dinner to utilize.
Population Served Families / /
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Our short term measure of success is to see families move in and out of this program; utilizing it less and less as they gain their financial footing and their family budgets become more stable.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Our long term success measure would be to have there be no continuing need for family food support; that all families would have access to as much nutritiousis food as they need at all times.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Attendance statistics, related service program participation and verbal interchanges present a picture of the condition of the family.  Referrals to various support programs are provided.  Being available to families in need, in a comprehensive fashion, is an indication this program is meeting it's goal to provide short term support to economically struggling families.  
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Familie constantly benefit from this program.  Families are self reporting this program helps them save food dollars to pay other bills.  Women have been able to support their families while attending school and moving forward professionally.  Parents spirits soar as they watch their children interact with others while being educated in an out of school, safe environment.  Parents report their children are reading more at home and look forward to coming for a delicious family dinner and free book to choose each Tuesday night. 
WNTO is a program developed to meet the increasing needs of the middle class for food support in order to stretch their income and meet the needs of their families .  Families feeling the difficulities of the economic downturn, having lost hours at work or their jobs entirely, can register for this weekly, family style meal to be used for dinner or after school snack as best meets their needs.
Population Served / /
Community service is offered on designated Saturdays during the school year.  In order to fulfill school requirements students perform a varity of tasks for and with the CDR which include not only food preparation, serving and clean up but food drives, volunteer opportunities and special academic research projects.  Working with the executive director, students have completed large senior projects on topics like "how to develop and run a non-profit social service agency" and the like.  The CDR places a strong emphasis on providing youth of all ages with volunteer opportunities which give them hands on experiences and insights into the merits and joys of volunteering.  Most students who volunteer with the CDR do so for several years throughout their academic education.  This non-traditional approach to learning, outside the school setting, is a valuable tool for students as they become the leaders of the future.
Population Served / /
Home Delivery program to the North Branford area operating out of the No. Branford Congregational Church.  Now serving approximately 20-25 individuals home delivered, nutritious lunches.
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens / Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent / Elderly and/or Disabled
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Program members are canvassed periodically for satisfaction of the food received and continuing needs.  They report benefits of eating a regular hot meal daily and the well being that comes from having a visitor bring them lunch in their homes.  These social and nutritional supports have a proven positive affect on the health and well being of individuals.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
This program began in 2012 providing 100 meals each month.  Presently we serve over 225 meals on some months.  The program is increasingly providing for the population we strive to support.  Family members report their elderly loved ones are more healthy, happier, better fed and in some cases are able to remain in their homes rather than moving to nursing facilities.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Delivery persons talk with program members to assess their condition and satisfaction with the program.  Staff send periodic flyers of needs and other items available to program members.  Families have contact information to report additional needs or changes in delivery schedule.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
On several occasions family members have reported their elderly loved ones are happier and healthier than they had been before they began participating in our home delivery program.  There is no doubt nutrition aides all persons cognitive reasoning and well being.  Families and program members are very happy with our lunch time home delivery program.
Program Comments
CEO Comments
The CDR focus is to improve health and financial condition with food support.  We nourish families and individuals with food, friendship, support services and a sense of moving forward in their lives.  All our programs work together financially to support the mission of the organization.  As a result there is one inclusive budget for all programs.
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Patricia Kral
Term Start Aug 1991
23 years of developing and managing a growing non-profit, social service agency, educated and experienced cook, degree in human services-social work and gerontology, degree in business administration, serve on several community boards of directors
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 175
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
The CDR works with many local organizations:
Branford Food Pantry
CT Food Bank
East Shore Health Department
Read To Grow
Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers
Greater New Haven Emergency Food Council
civic groups and local businesses
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits2000
Official Citation, Citizen of the YearState of Connecticut, General Assembly1989
Children Feeding Children DayTown of Branford2015
Best Practices Soup KitchenConnecticut Food Bank2006
CEO Comments
The CDR has worked with consultants in the past to create long range plans which have been completed regarding their specific goals.  Going forward we have found the goals and objectives put forth annually by the executive director have served adequately to drive the direction of the agency.  Management succession in this small agency, 2 part time and 1 full time employees, will be supported by staff in place and future candidates.
Board Chair
Dr. Kim Pham
Company Affiliation Quinnipiac University
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
Barbara Dahl St. Raphael's Hospital, Clinical Administrator
Gay Firth Wilbur Cross School, Elizabeth Cellato Center
Cheryl Kaiden C.A. Communications, Owner
Bill Kirwin computer technology business
Charlene Marqua
Jayne Nunziante Real Estate Agent
Dr. Carolyn Rambus Yale New Haven Hospital
Judy Stebbins
Marilyn Truglio-Kirwin Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 9
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO Comments
The challenge faced by the Community Dining Room presently is how to not only provide food to individuals and families who struggle financially but to help them achieve a better quality of life.  Good nutrition is critical to a healthy and good life.  Grappling with the issuses of the poor can make good food choices hard.  Obesity in both children and adults has reached record levels.  The CDR places a strong focus on education regarding good food choices, nutrition and  physical exercise.  We offer workshops, persentations and health screenings for adults, children and the community at large on these topics.  We host weekly walking groups.  The meals we serve are well balanced with more vegetables and fewer sweets.  The CDR agency provides overlaping food and nutrition services in all our programs.  Because of this all our programs are grouped into one collective budget.  The on-going challenge we face while preparing over 250 meals on any given day is to efficiently utilize every piece of food we have available. 
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2015
Projected Revenue $193,000.00
Projected Expenses $193,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Form 990s
CDR 9902013
CDR 9902012
CDR 9902011
CDR 9902010
CDR 9902009
CDR 9902008
CDR 9902007
IRS Letter of Exemption
Community Dining Room IRS Ltr.
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,750$2,500$3,000
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$10,078$7,162$1,751
Membership Dues------
Special Events----$28,409
Revenue In-Kind------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$351,825$344,360$77,460
Administration Expense$98,501$91,286$91,731
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.141.151.17
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%79%46%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$659,214$566,096$479,080
Current Assets$387,280$331,961$269,952
Long-Term Liabilities$2,346$2,561$2,813
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$656,868$563,535$476,267
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --New Alliance Foundation $10,000United Way of Greater New Haven $20,500
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --United Way of Greater New Haven $10,000Alcoa Foundation $15,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --NewAlliance Foundation $10,000
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%1%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
CEO Comments The CDR is a small organization relying on in-kind donations to operate programs. These donations are not reflected in our financial statement of condition. As a result our pie chart is misleading. It does not present an accurate picture of the income and expenses of our agency. Please read further into our profile to understand all we do to feed the hungry in our community.
The CDR works to maintain a sound financial picture currently and for the future.  We believe our services to be necessary to the well-being of the persons we serve as well as the entire community and design our programs to address these on-going needs.  We provide more than food support through nutritional education, a strong and familiar community to help lessen the impact of loneliness and good dietary and physical education.
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 30 Harrison Ave.
Branford, CT 06405
Primary Phone 203 488-9750
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Patricia Kral
Board Chair Dr. Kim Pham
Board Chair Company Affiliation Quinnipiac University


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