Friday August 23, 2013 | 05:46 PM

Meals on Wheels is a vital source of food for Maine's seniors. In Central Maine, Spectrum Generations prepares and delivers 200,524 meals to more than 1,600 home bound seniors who depend on Meals on Wheels for their nutrition. Recent federal budget cuts have forced the non-profit, for the first time in 40 years, to create a waiting list of those in need.

To raise much-needed funds, Specturm has come up with a first-ever benefit event — the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Challenge. On Wednesday evening, Sept. 25 at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, it features four top Maine chefs who will compete by preparing a main dish using Meals on Wheels guidelines and ingredients.

The chefs are Ray Franklyn of Solo Bistro in Bath, Wendy Larson of Slates Restaurant & Bakery in Hallowell, Tim O’Brien of  Trattoria Athena in Brunswick, and Andrew Omo of Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine in Freeport. When they have finished cooking, local celebrities will act as "delivery volunteers" to serve food to guests while a trio of judges — Nancy Heiser, a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Portland Press Herald; Christine Burns Rudalevige, a recipe developer, chef instructor and culinary lead at Stonewall Kitchen, and me — determine the winner. There will also be a People's Choice Award. All chef recipes will be incorporated in Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels menu.

The evening begins at 5:15 with a reception, followed by dinner and the program at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table of 8. There will be a silent auction and a cash bar. For more information and tickets, see spectrumgenerations.org/celebrity or call 207-620-1677.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels program and We Sustain Maine initiative which supports Maine farmers by including Maine food products in its Meals on Wheels and community dining programs. By bringing food from the fields of Maine farms to the plates of Maine’s seniors, We Sustain Maine reduces senior hunger, supports Maine farmers, and ultimately helps Maine’s economy by reinvesting local dollars back into our communities.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad


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