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Green Ladle hopes to continue meal work

Volunteers load up vehicles for deliveries before heading out on Thursday

Even though the Green Ladle has had a meal-making streak, Chef Dan Caron hopes students and adult volunteers can continue as long as they are needed.

But as of last Thursday, the Lewiston Regional Technical Center’s (LRTC) culinary program has enough supplies for meals for retirees and veterans to get them through the end of this week. It began last month to help people staying at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

They started with 80 meals. By last Thursday, they had expanded to 380, Caron said. 

“We don’t have it in us to stop,” he said.

Caron is working with the Meals on Wheels program run through Seniors Plus because people cannot receive food from both delivery programs.

Volunteers Sue Russell and Maureen Caron made sure hundreds of paper bags had all the parts of lunch in them on Thursday morning.

A row of LRTC teachers prepared meals in the kitchen wearing masks and gloves. Paul Kennedy spread mayonnaise on wraps. Jessica Douin was at the end of the production line at another table wrapping them in plastic. 

The Green Ladle’s dining room had most tables covered with paper bags for deliveries or cleaning supplies and disposable gloves. Sisters and fellow volunteers Sue Russell and Maureen Caron made sure each bag had a small butter pat in them.

“People are stepping up. It’s nice to see people who care,” Maureen Caron said.

Jessica Douin prepares wraps in the Green Ladle kitchen on Thursday.

In addition to people dropping off contributions at the Green Ladle, Modern Woodmen of American and Androscoggin Bank have helped in an effort that Chef Caron says costs about $1,000 a day.  

Thursday’s lunch consisted of a turkey wrap, potato chips, a roll with butter and a cookie.

Local businesses have made donations of food to help with expenses. They included DaVinci’s restaurant, the Chick-a-Dee of Lewiston, Rolly’s Diner and Hurricane’s Premium Soup & Chowder. DaVinci’s also let Green Ladle staff use its van for deliveries.

Volunteers load up vehicles for deliveries before heading out on Thursday.

Retired LRTC teacher and nurse Cathy Liguori reviewed the importance of wearing masks and gloves with volunteers before they headed out with containers holding the bagged lunches. She reminded them that people may not have symptoms of COVID-19 but can spread the virus.

LRTC Principal Rob Callahan and Lewiston High School Principal Jake Langlais both put on masks before listening to Liguori’s advice. Lewiston High School teachers pitched in with deliveries, along with retirees such as Paul Sarrazin. Sarrazin, who used to work for UPS, helped with the planning of delivery routes to make them as efficient as possible.

The Green Ladle can be reached at 207-777-3199.

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