For eighteen years the “Cook and Care” walk-a-thon has raised money for four important local agencies that provide essential services to some of the most disadvantaged people in the New Haven area. The agencies are:
- FISH of Greater New Haven: The only agency that delivers free bags of groceries to those in food crisis
- Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers: Provides at no cost, a wide variety of supportive services to elderly people including door through door escorted transportation to medical appointments, so that they may remain in their home and independent for as long as possible.
- Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen: (DESK) Provides free food assistance in the form of free hot evening meals seven nights a week, free daily bagged lunches, a free weekly food & pet pantry and a weekly senior pantry.
- Community Soup Kitchen: Provides free breakfast and lunch meals to anyone in need six days a week.
Unfortunately fundraising has become more difficult every year. We have been facing greater competition from national organizations that have advantages, including professional fundraisers, larger staffs, and better technology that we do not. We have had to remain in the trenches every day simply trying to fulfill our mission; doing all the things involved in operating a small business while dealing with the limitations imposed upon us of time, budget and staffing.
Since 1996, “Cook and Care” has been planned and organized by a small committee of volunteers and the money that has been raised is divided equally between the agencies. Every effort has been made to make certain that the event was as cost effective as possible. Thanks to volunteers, donations of food, music, maps, printing and web design have been secured. Volunteers had planned the route and posted signs to show the way.
In our eighteen year history the “Cook and Care” walk-a-thon has, thanks to your generosity, raised over $300,000. That Money has stayed in New Haven, and thanks to our sponsors, meant that 100% of your donation went directly to helping your neighbors.
The time has come to discern if our walk-a-thon is still practical. This fall we are planning a one year hiatus for the walk to reevaluate, in a timely and thoughtful manner, our fund raising strategies and consider alternatives. It has not been an easy decision for us since the walk has been a major part of our budget; but we have confidence that we will find other ways to raise the funds we need.
The spirit of the “Cook and Care” walk-a-thon has been one of a unique & local collaborative event that brings people together to support four essential New Haven area agencies. We thank you for your support through the years and we will keep you up to date as to our plans. Please watch our website for further details.
David O’Sullivan, Community Soup Kitchen
Diana M. Richter, Ph.D., Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen
Marsha Royster, FISH of Greater New Haven
We will continue to accept your donations through our website: www.cookandcarewalkathon.org
You may also send a donation in the enclosed envelope to:
Cook & Care, 311 Temple St., New Haven, CT 06511