Culinary school reaches out to help those in need

The Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT in New Milford provides job and life skills training to unemployed and underemployed adults with the food produced in classes donated to local food banks.

The school also serves as the congregate meal provider for the New Milford Senior Center as well as the emergency food provider for the Town of New Milford.

With classes temporarily on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school has expanded its mission of feeding those in need, as so many face hardships in these unprecedented times.

Chef Instructor Blythe Roberts and Senior Center Chef Jason Streck-Weller are preparing and packaging meals for delivery to New Milford seniors as well as for the New Milford Food Bank and Our Daily Bread Food Pantry.

Since the onset of the pandemic through mid-June, the school has prepared over 7,600 meals for these organizations.

“We have been able to pivot from our usual day-to-day activities and react to the needs of people during the pandemic by increasing our feeding programs,” said Community Culinary School Executive Director Dawn Hammacott.

“This has been possible, due in large part, to generous donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations, as well as donations of food from area food producers,” she said.

The community has aided the school’s efforts.

“New Milford Hospital held a food drive, the Washington Coalition of Congregations is collecting donations of fresh produce and money at the Washington Farmer’s Market, the First Congregational Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church, both of New Milford, have partnered to plant a garden, all to help us continue this important work,” she explained.

“We are humbled by this outpouring of support for our efforts and gratified to be able provide for those in need in our town,” she said.

Donations to the school may be made by visiting

For more information, call 203-512-5791 or email