Allison Batson

Dinner for a Dollar

Allison Batson has been dedicated to serving the Hamden community for many years. Allison is passionate about helping those who are homeless or hungry and preparing children to succeed in school. Because she is a doer, she puts her passion into action.

While working as a preschool teacher, Allison recognized that many of the families in her school were food insecure. This realization motivated her to start a program called Dinner for a Dollar at Grace and St. Peter’s in Hamden, CT.


“Allison is a caring, thoughtful, generous and forthright person much loved by all.” – Bob Bergner, Pastor of Grace and St. Peter’s Church


Dinner for a Dollar is a weekly communal supper where anyone can receive a meal for one dollar per person. Allison has been the coordinator for the past 8 years and has only cancelled the weekly dinner one time (due to 40 inches of snow)! Allison has grown the program to serve over 40 people nightly and has created a model that engages volunteers, parishioners and the community so it is self-sustaining.  

Allison is tireless. After serving dinner one Friday night last June, she got up the next Saturday morning to participate in the Summer Meals Outreach blitz. She donned a bright orange t-shirt that read “Ask me about Summer Meals” and traveled around town handing out information about where children could go in Hamden to get free, nutritious summer meals.  

Allison’s commitment to justice for the disenfranchised is abundantly clear. She helped organize Abraham’s Tent to provide shelter for the homeless at her church, she has been involved with the warming center in Hamden, and now serves on the board of Columbus House.  She has also taken on volunteer roles in the community to support high quality early childhood programs. 


“Allison’s calm demeanor, her genuine welcome to the people experiencing homelessness who were staying at the Church for the week, her kindness toward other volunteers was something special.” – Alison Cunningham, former ED of Columbus House