Maurer Meals event set for Oct. 17, 18 throughout region

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FARMINGTON — The 10th annual Maurer Meals will be held Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 18, at 13 locally owned restaurants, an area hospital and a college dining hall in nine communities throughout central and western Maine.

The restaurants will offer special menus featuring locally grown food products, including organic and all natural foods. Money raised will go to the Justin A. Maurer Memorial Scholarship Fund for a third- or fourth-year University of Maine at Farmington student enrolled in the Community Health Program.

Maurer Meals is held in memory of Justin Maurer, a 2004 magna cum laude graduate of that program.

“Justin was a supporter of the small farm in Maine, and he recognized the necessity of producing food without poisoning the earth or our bodies,” said Gary Maurer of Leeds. “We thought this project might be a good way to carry on his beliefs and honor his legacy.”

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The goals of Maurer Meals include supporting local agriculture and locally owned businesses as well as the scholarship fund. The Maurer Meals Project works to keep money local, keep the land sustainable and encourage people to make conscious decisions about food, health and community.

To date, Maurer Meals has raised more than $23,000 and nine UMF Community Health students have benefited from the scholarship fund.

“Maurer Meals is an excellent way to support local farmers and local businesses while eating healthy and raising money for a good cause,” said Nicole Ditata, Healthy Maine Partnership director with the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County.

Each year, area restaurants serve a variety of dishes created with local foods. Gary Maurer, founder of Maurer Meals, commends the restaurants for their diligence and creativity. “The participating restaurants do an outstanding job of incorporating local foods into sometimes surprising, but always delicious, specials.”

Maurer Meals is organized with the help of Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Healthy Oxford Hills, River Valley Healthy Community Coalition, Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative, Redington-Fairview General Hospital and the University of Maine at Farmington.

The participating restaurants and organizations for the 2014 Maurer Meals are the Homestead Bakery, Farmington, 778-6162; UMF Dining Services, Farmington, 778-7360; Sedgley Place of Greene, 946-5990; Olde Mill Tavern, Harrison, 583-9077; LaFleur’s, Jay, 897-2117; She Doesn’t Like Guthries, Lewiston, 376-3344; Café Nomad, Norway, 739-2249; 76 Pleasant, Norway, 744-9040; Brian’s Bistro, Rumford, 364-3300; Gone Loco! Café, Rumford, 364-1080; the Bankery, Skowhegan, 474-2253; Heritage House, Skowhegan, 474-5100; Kel-Mat Café, Skowhegan, 474-0200; Redington-Fairview General Hospital, Skowhegan, 474-2381; and Calzolaio Pasta Company, Wilton, 645-9500.

For reservations, if appropriate, call the participating restaurants. For information about the scholarship, contact Seth Taylor of UMF at 778-7058. For information about the Maurer Meals Project, contact Gary Maurer at 524-2060 or visit maurermeals.org, or the Facebook page.

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