Norwalk Central Kitchen renamed in honor of Frank A. Harris
By KOREY WILSON Hour Staff Writer The Hour Publishing Company
NORWALK — The building known as Norwalk Public School’s Central Kitchen has finally been renamed and dedicated to the man that started it all. On Tuesday, the Main Avenue building was officially renamed as the Frank A. Harris Nutrition Center.
Harris, the school district’s former food service director, retired in 2006 after a 39-year career. During his tenure, Harris was instrumental in the grand opening of Central Kitchen in 1973 to help expand food choices for Norwalk public school students.
Friends, former coworkers and former vendors joined the longtime child nutrition advocate as the sign was unveiled. “I feel greatly honored,” said Harris, 91.
“I thank all my coworkers and friends for their loyalty and support, that contributed so much to the success of our Norwalk Central Kitchen food service operation.”
Harris, a native of Germany, joined the United States Army, where he became a cook and a baker. After leaving the Army, he continued to work in food service.
In 1967, he replied to an ad for a children’s nutrition director at Norwalk Public Schools. After a four-hour interview, he was offered the job. As food services director, Harris created a breakfast program for 18 schools.
After visiting public school food programs in other states, Harris proposed to the city the idea of building a central kitchen that would help provide food to all of the area’s schools.
In 1973, there were only six elementary schools providing hot lunches to students. By the end of 1974, hot lunches were available to all 18 schools throughout the school district.
(All Photos by Alex von Kleydorff )