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Norwalk Central Kitchen Renamed

Kitchen renamed after longtime nutrition advocate

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Norwalk, CT | Added on May 27, 2014 At 05:12 PM

It may look like just a building, but for one man, it's his life's work.

"Nobody deserves it more. You have fields named after coaches, this is his field. This is his background. He built the building," said Jill Kress, Executive Secretary of Norwalk Public School Food Services. 

The Norwalk Public Schools Central Kitchen was renamed the Frank A. Harris Nutrition Center after former Food Service Director of 39 years Frank Harris.

"It's tremendously exciting and I'm so gratefully that I am still alive. I retired in 2004 and it [the renaming of the building] was approved in 2004 before I retired and I never knew if I was going to make it," said Harris, now 91 years old.

Harris came up with the concept of a central kitchen for Norwalk 41 years ago. 

"When I came to Norwalk in 1967 we had 18 elementary schools and only 6 had a lunch program and I said why only 6? Why not the others? People told me there was no money so I attended some of the national organization meetings and I found out about universal feeding. So in 1973 we opened and I opened one school at a time so I could be there to supervise it and at the end of '73 we had every school in. We truely became the show piece and we were the first in the Northeast United States to have all their schools covered [in one program]," said Harris. 

A longtime advocate for universal nutrition in public schools, Harris says nutrition education is key. "There is no greater priority than our children because that is the future of our country. To teach nutrition education should be the job of the teachers in every one of the schools. They should be the surrogate parents and grandparents, feeding and loving the kids."

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