A new organization called Cooking for Community (website, facebook, instagram) is working with restaurants to buy local food from farms and fisheries to provide meals to those in need. So far Cooking for Community has raised $55,000 dollars. A pilot project will launch Monday with the kitchens of Chaval and Little Giant preparing 450 cooked meals for Catholic Charities of Maine, Wayside Food Programs, Amistad and Preble Street.
Cooking for Community will enable production and delivery of hundreds of locally sourced, warm, fresh meals during its first week. At the same time, it will create and revise the structure and best practices for its expanding program model. Ultimately, the volunteer-run group hopes to expand to involve many more local restaurants, local food providers and donors to feed hundreds, possibly thousands of underserved, unemployed, elderly, and homeless people each day.
The Cooking for Community program “reinforces a positive feedback loop: restaurants can pay employees, leveraging payroll funding from the Cares Act federal stimulus package. Producers, farmers and individuals in the fishing industries, a big part of this loop, will receive financial support. The model also uses donations of perishable food goods that would otherwise go to waste.”
The organizers “hope is to inject essential nourishment, resources and hope back into thousands of Mainers’ lives. Anyone in need will know where and when they can depend on a free meal, cooked with love from all of us in Maine.”
For more information watch this interview with organizer Ellie Linen Low and Little Giant owner Ian Malin on Youtube.