Cooking for Community has provided more than 6,800 meals to Bath Housing residents in the past year. Contributed photo

Portland-based Cooking for Community is marking one year of providing meals during the COVID-19 pandemic to older adults living in Bath Housing apartments. During that time, Cooking for Community has served more than 6,800 meals to Bath Housing residents.

Cooking for Community raises funds to pay restaurants and their staff to provide meals to service agencies. Locally sourced produce is provided by farms like Wolfe’s Neck of Freeport and Stonecipher of Bowdoinham, and by Merrymeeting Gleaners, a volunteer gleaning group that shares local surplus harvests all around the Bath/Brunswick area.

With the pandemic winding down, and restaurants striving to return to normal business, the status of Cooking for Community is uncertain. They are committed to serving their partners into June, with several possibilities for the future being considered, according to Bath Housing.

“Shots in arms, relief funding, and relaxed restrictions mean the pandemic’s impacts are in flux,” said Cooking for Community co-founder Ellie Linen Low.  “But, for now, the crisis continues. We are making a strong push to continue to support our partnering restaurants and feed the most vulnerable until the need for our work diminishes.”

“When checking in with residents we have heard that a prepared meal being delivered is about so much more than the food itself,” Bath Housing Executive Director Debora Keller said. “These meals have provided a sense of community, helped folks to feel less isolated, and the nostalgia of these comfort foods providing a much-needed lift to spirits.”

Though weekly meals at Bath Housing may not continue, the possibility of quarterly, monthly and holiday meals is being explored, as are on-site food pantries at each location, according to Bath Housing.

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