Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) is setting up a new site for its Community Cafés program for residents of South Portland and surrounding towns. This is the 10th location, SMAA is hosting a Community Café throughout Cumberland and York counties.

The Community Cafe in South Portland will happen every third Wednesday of the month, beginning July 18. Everyone is invited, but reservations are required by the Wednesday before the event by calling 207-767-2255. The first event is set to be at The Point Community Center at 345 Clarks Pond Pkwy and doors will open at 11 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

Community Cafes are more than a social gathering for lunch with friends and neighbors. Entertainment such as bingo, games, and musical acts and educational presentations and resource tables are commonly part of the experience.

“We are excited to offer adults 60 years and older an opportunity to engage with their community and one another while enjoying a scrumptious and nutritious meal,” said Patrick Bush, South Portland Meals on Wheels Site coordinator and organizer of the new Community Café. “With 50/50 raffle, door prizes, and future guest speakers, we hope to provide an informative and fun outing for our community members.”

Community Cafes are open to everyone regardless of age or residency. However, proof of age and residency help the organizers determine if the guest is asked to pay the full price of the meal, which is $10. Adults 60 and over who are Maine residents are invited to donate $8 but any donation is welcome.

“Community Cafes, along with other SMAA Nutrition Programs such as Meals on Wheels and As You Like It, in partnership with local restaurants, provide not only nutritious food but also an overall experience that helps decrease the sense of loneliness and social isolation in attendees,” comments Ashley Perrone, Nutrition Program Manager at SMAA. “Even during the pandemic, when in-person gatherings were limited, the Cafés offered meals-to-go – oftentimes set up outside under a tent, thus ensuring that people continued to access nutritious meals regularly while having opportunities to socialize, safely.”

Even though this event is new for South Portland, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging has a long tradition of serving its clients in a holistic way and providing support for the needs of the southern Maine aging population. The Community Café adds to the already existing Meals on Wheels site, which will allow the Agency to increase its efficiency and expand its services to reach more clients.

To learn more, visit smaaa.org or call 207-396-6500 or 1-800-427-7411.