Weekend Food Program Comes to New Haven School

Aid for Orphans Relief Foundation ensures that New Haven schoolchildren who were at risk of going hungry during weekends are now taking home backpacks filled with grocery staples.

The first delivery of food bags to the John C. Daniels School. Photo credit: Aid For Orphans Relief

New Haven schoolchildren who were at risk of going hungry during weekends are now taking home backpacks filled with grocery staples, thanks to an international children's aid foundation based in Hamden.

Aid For Orphans Relief Foundation (AORF), which annually distributes about $1 Million worth of medicine and healthcare supplies to orphanages around the globe, also tackles food insecurity in Connecticut. A two-year grant from The Community Foundation is supporting AORF's weekend food assistance program at John C. Daniels Magnet School.

"AORF is committed to the vision of every child reaching his or her potential, and hungry schoolchildren are not in a position to make the most of their school experience," says Aid For Orphan's Relief Founder and Executive Director Dr. Margaret Chustecki.

AORF partners with John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency (ULA) in Rocky Hill to deliver the weekend food bags on a weekly basis during the school year. Food bags contain the makings of five-weekend meals and snacks for the entire family — one dinner, two breakfasts, two lunches, and snacks.

In the 2016-2017 academic school year, AORF and ULA fed a total of 191 individuals (124 children) on weekends school was in session. They delivered 955 meals each weekend and a total of 27,530 meals for the school year. The program at John C. Daniels will serve an additional 180 individuals.

Dr. Chustecki, a Yale-New Haven Hospital physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, started AORF after witnessing the great need of orphans in her native country of Poland. Since its inception in 2010, AORF has delivered over $5M worth of medicines, medical supplies, wellness, and hygiene items, and nutritional supplements to orphanages and health/child care organizations in Poland, Ukraine, the Philippines, Africa, and the U.S.

For more information about the Aid for Orphan Relief Foundation, visit its profile on givegreater.org.

Did you know?

About one-six Connecticut children live in food-insecure households, meaning they have inadequate food to support active, healthy lifestyles.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.