FREEPORT — A local caterer, a previous business owner, a retired teacher and a long-term volunteer have joined forces to create a home-cooked meal program to benefit Freeport Community Services.
Mary Lou Carhart pitched the breakfast and lunch idea to FCS board member Carol Southall and interim Executive Director Bob Lyman. Lyman said the idea was wonderful, and for about three weeks the food program has been a hit.
“This has been very really successful,” Lyman said last week. “Last Thursday, they sold out of food.”
Lyman said a menu is faxed to municipal and school buildings, and said the response has been positive.
“There is always a nice variety of handmade sandwiches that are made to order,” he said, “and at least two different soups per day.”
Volunteers have made carrot ginger soup, squash apple soup, Moroccan chickpea soup, chili and chowders. Customers can order pulled pork and cabbage panini, red pepper hummus wraps, or turkey, cheese, mango and Romain sandwiches. There are also homemade cakes, cookies and muffins.
All proceeds from the breakfast and lunch program benefit FCS.
“These added funds directly help to run the center and its programs,” Lyman said. “Programs such as the food pantry and fuel assistance.”
Debbie Daggett, volunteer coordinator at FCS, said the kitchen is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The volunteers are doing such a great job,” she said. “Everything is homemade and gourmet, and the smells are enticing.”
Some of the volunteers have backgrounds in food service, and some simply love to cook and eat.
Carhart, the founder of the volunteer food program, used to own the South Freeport Variety Store with her husband. There she made homemade soups and sandwiches as well.
Jennie Gwilym is a professional caterer who volunteers in the kitchen. She said she enjoys meeting new people at the Community Center and creating the menus.
Barbara Bardack, retired teacher and former volunteer at the Thrift Shop, works the cash register for the lunch counter. She said her food background involves a love of cooking and eating.
“Being in a warm kitchen on a cold day is deliriously good,” she said.
Becky Hotelling thought volunteering at the lunch counter would be fun. She said she enjoys cooking and loves food.
Lyman said it is encouraging to see new faces in the Community Center.
“It is so great to see the facility used and people taking advantage of this,” he said.