From the Capitol: Cooking for the Community

April 7, 2014

Generally I think cooking is fun. But when it is for a great cause like TEAM, it’s more than fun. It is also extremely rewarding.

The seventh annual “Men Who Cook” fundraiser, coming up this month, is one of those special days. This event supports TEAM, Inc., a local non-profit that serves over 5,400 local families. This unique organization plays an integral role in our community, and this annual event is an opportunity to support and get to know the organization a little better.

TEAM provides services and financial assistance to families in the Naugatuck-Housatonic Valley Region. By uniting multiple programs, TEAM provides comprehensive support for all levels of need. Services include early education, elderly services, home heating assistance, housing assistance, economic literacy and asset building, and community and neighborhood services. TEAM is also an active member of the Valley Council of Health and Human Services, linking them with over 40 local non-profits.

Individuals have choices when they seek support from TEAM. For example, TEAM offers five different early child education options so families can select the program that best fits their needs. For the elderly, TEAM also offers a full spectrum of support, from rides to the doctors to meals and nutrition plans. Basically, if your family needs help or support of any kind, TEAM either has a solution or can refer you to the best resources.

TEAM is also a Community Action Agency (CAA), one of only 11 in Connecticut and about 1,100 nationwide. CAAs carry out the Community Action Program, founded by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. These organizations focus on promoting self-sufficiency and rely heavily on volunteer work. In our community, TEAM takes action and empowers individuals to better their lives.

The “Men Who Cook” event is a fun way for the community to get involved in supporting TEAM. Every year, about 600 people gather to enjoy food cooked and baked by community members. Last year the event raised $64,000, an incredible contribution to support many crucial programs.

This year you can expect to see 50 serving stations with approximately 83 men who cook, bake and serve individually or in teams. The menu features all types of appetizers and entrees as well as a variety of desserts, including my family’s famous coconut cupcakes.

The event takes place on April 26 from 6-11 p.m. at Warsaw Park, 119 Pulaski Highway, Ansonia. Tickets are $55 per person and include food, wine, beer and soft drinks. In addition to enjoying the many food options, there will also be a silent auction, music and dancing.

To purchase tickets and learn more about TEAM, including ways to volunteer or seek aid, visit or call 203- 736-5420. TEAM is an incredible resource in our community, and “Men Who Cook” is an enjoyable way to support so many important local programs.