The Southern Maine Agency on Aging operates Community Cafes in eight communities throughout York and Cumberland counties. Many seniors will recall the former name for these lunchtime gatherings was “Senior Meal Site” or a similar name.

Community Cafes provide an opportunity for seniors and friends to socialize and eat a nutritious lunch. Some Community Cafes include entertainment or educational programs. In my hometown, the location has changed several times, but at the present, the Community Cafe? in Windham is at Unity Gardens on Route 115. Community Cafes are also located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kezar Falls, Kittery/Eliot, Portland, Sanford, South Portland, Westbrook and Yarmouth.

There’s something comfortable about enjoying lunch among your peers and often it’s an opportunity to see some old friends. Although I infrequently journey the short way to Unity Garden, it’s a comfort to know it’s there if I feel like lunch with others.

The Community Cafe? is open to individuals 60 and over. When you go for the first time, you will show your license or proof of age. Lunch is served at noon. Locations may have different days of service. Reservations are required, 48 hours in advance. If you’re unable to attend, you are asked to call and cancel your reservation.

Suggested donation is $4 for a regular meal and $5 when the meals are catered. Meals are for on-site consumption only.

For participants under 60, or individuals who do not want to register, the meal costs $7.

To whet your appetite, here are samples of the types of meals you can receive at a Community Cafe? for the “regular” meal, which also includes a choice of coffee, tea or milk and dessert: pesto cheese rigatoni with a California vegetable blend, chicken stir fry with white rice and stir fry vegetables, pork piccata with red chunk potatoes and carrots, apple sage chicken with white rice and broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs, beef burgundy with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans, chicken alfredo with penne pasta and peas, shepherd’s pie with green beans, ham and pineapple with cheesy potatoes and carrots, crumb-topped white fish with potato wedges and peas and barbecue chicken with sweet mashed potatoes and corn.

For more information, call 800-400-6325.

Kay Soldier welcomes reader ideas for column topics of interest to seniors. She can be reached by email at [email protected], or write to 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062.

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