Sharon Willard, Director of Programs and Support Services, started in CAANH in 1980 as an administrative assistant to several directors of the agency. Since then, she has held the positions of Coordinator of the Fuel Bank and Food Commodities Program, and Executive Assistant to the CEO. She was the Director of Senior Service Programs, overseeing the Medical Transportation, Chore Services, and the Elderly Nutrition/Meals on Wheels programs. Currently Sharon manages Energy Assistance, Operation Fuel, the Emergency Food Pantry and the Diaper Bank, and is the Chairperson of the Annual ChiliFest.
One of Sharon’s favorite undertakings was bringing the ChiliFest to the agency. It became an annual event and is now in its 25th year and is the largest fund raiser for the Agency. This fun-filled family event is designated by the International Chili Society (ICS) as the official Connecticut State Cookoff. Our winners represent the state of Connecticut at the ICS World’s Cookoff, and can win up to $25,000 for their chili recipe. “The ChiliFest is my most valued accomplishment because it’s a great event, staff participates and it raises money for our Food Pantry helping to feed those in our community amidst the growing food insecurity crisis in New Haven.”
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been at CAANH for over 38 years, but I love what I do; it’s the people we help every day that keeps me here.”