DESK Snapshot

For nearly 25 years The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) continues to consistently provide free direct food programs to the citizens of the New Haven Community. DESK‘s great community value is in its commitment & capacity to grow as the face of hunger grows. A snapshot of DESK shows this commitment.

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    1987

    DESK began serving evening meals three nights per week, one night at each of the three churches on the New Haven Green: Trinity Church, the First Church of Christ (Center Church) and The United Church.

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    2003

    DESK began serving evening meals 5 nights a week and provided a Food Pantry twice a month.

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    2004

    DESK added a weekly Food Pantry and daily bag lunches for the working poor & school age children to provide supplemental food for the growing number of working individuals & families in need of food.

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    2005

    DESK Friday evening meals were added and staffed by Yale Hunger Heroes, an undergraduate Yale Hunger & Homelessness Action Project group (YHHAP), specifically created to administer Friday meals during the academic year .

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    2007

    DESK renovated its kitchen to a commercial kitchen at 311 Temple Street. DESK expanded its kitchen equipment to include a steamer, convection oven & commercial refrigerator.

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    2008

    DESK centralized all of its operations. Centralizing the kitchen, dining hall, food pantry and bag lunch programs enabled DESK to serve more food variety with less stress & expense.

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    2008

    DESK began going “Green” in 2008 by recycling all recyclable items.

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    2009

    DESK continued going “green” by refurbishing its commercial dishwasher and substituting Styrofoam plates & cups to washable & reusable trays & cups for evening meals.

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    2009

    DESK renovated it’s pantry in 2009. Replacing shelving and adding a commercial 2 door freezer.

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    2009

    DESK opened Thunder’s Pantry, a weekly pet food pantry program.

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    2010

    DESK started a bi-weekly Senior Program, to supplement DESK senior guests with specific nutritionally designed food bags. Also in 2010, DESK Saturday evening meals were added and staffed by Yale Hunger Heroes, during the academic year.In addition, another YHHAP group, Kitchen to Kitchen continued rescuing food from Yale Dining Services for DESK on a weekly basis.

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    2010

    DESK has served over 104,000 free daily evening meals, 58,000 free pantry bags at the weekly pantry and 17,000 free bag lunches for the working poor.

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    2011

    DESK serves an evening meal 7 days a week, providing daily bag lunches, bi-weekly senior supplement food bags and providing a weekly food pantry & pet food pantry. Friday & Saturday meals are staffed by Yale Hunger Heroes, during the academic year. And Kitchen to Kitchen rescues food on a weekly basis for DESK and the Friday & Saturday kitchens. Yale Hunger Heroes & Kitchen to Kitchen ate both programs of YHHAP and continue to help DESK provide food daily. DESK is staffed by 3 full time employees and relies on over 400 volunteers per month to complete all the tasks DESK needs to accomplish its mission and direct food service programs.

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    2016

    100 children receive high quality backpack filled with nonperishable foods. Each week during the summer, children returned to have their bags filled again. The project was made possible through a $12,500 federal Community Development Block Grant.

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    2016

    DESK serves more guests than at any time during in its 29-year history.

With community help, DESK plans to continue its entire direct food service programs for years to come, meeting the food needs of a very diverse population in greater new haven.

Services Provided

The following are The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen’s programs. These programs serve a very diverse community of at risk individuals, families & children who are “food insecure” in the greater New Haven area. These programs for many are providing the basic need of food on a consistent basis. In addition, DESK provides numerous volunteers opportunities for the entire New Haven community. All of these services are centralized at 311 Temple Street, DESK central kitchen, dining hall and food pantry.

These are served consistently 7 days a week. DESK serves a hot evening meal, 5 days a week @ at the DESK central kitchen & dining hall @ 311 Temple ST., New Haven. Friday & Saturday evening meals are served @ 323 Temple Street, DESK satellite kitchen.
These are distributed nightly at the evening meals @ 311 Temple St.
Weekly, Wednesdays from 2-3pm, bags of food are distributed to individuals and families @ 311 Temple ST. Families with children receive extra bags dependent on need & supply.
Food distributed to individuals families & children in crisis as needed @ 311 Temple Street.
DESK has numerous opportunities for community service, court appointed community service & individual and group volunteerism @ 311 Temple ST. Contact Linda Carbone at [email protected] or phone her at (203)-809-8770.
DESK Pet Food Pantry weekly in conjunction with the weekly DESK Pantry. @ 311 Temple ST. Free Dog & Cat food items will be available as supply limits. Pet food items changes monthly. This service is NO cost to DESK.
DESK’s Senior food program. This is a bi-weekly supplemental food for DESK senior guests’ @ The DESK weekly pantry and by appointment. This food bag is individually designed for each senior’s nutritional needs.

DESK Food Totals 2004-2011

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Evening meals 30,218 44,406 49,671 78,016 100,660 101,963 112,324 117,250
Pantry food bags 4,405 5,787 10,475 24,710 24,199 56,392 58,678 61,020
Bag lunches 6,102 6,280 5,872 6,800 8,700 11,980 17,880 18,160

DESK Staff

  • Steve Werlin  |  Executive Director
  • Meagan Lamberti  |  Evening Coordinator
  • Henry Bullock  |  Pantry Coordinator

DESK Board of Directors

  • Will Melton President
  • Mark Fagan Vice President
  • Cynthia McCarroll | Treasurer
  • Scot McLean, Ph.D. | Secretary
  • Liz Cox | Member-at-large
  • Brandon Hudik | Member-at-large
  • Robert LaRose | Member-at-large
  • Luis Pagan | Member-at-large
  • Daniel Scolfield | Member-at-large
  • Rafi Taherian | Member-at-large