The eighth annual Maurer Meals will be held Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 14 locally owned restaurants throughout western Maine. Participating restaurants will offer special menus featuring locally grown food products, including organic and all natural foods. Money raised goes 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 Education 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 Justin’s father, Gary Maurer of Leeds. “We thought this project might be a good way to carry on his beliefs and honor his legacy.”
The goals of Maurer Meals include supporting local agriculture and locally owned independent restaurants as well as the scholarship fund. Maurer Meals 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 $15,000 and seven Community Health Education 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 restaurants who participate do an excellent job of incorporating local foods into delicious specials.”
Maurer Meals is organized with the help of the following organizations: Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Healthy Oxford Hills, River Valley Healthy Community Coalition, Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative, Healthy Androscoggin, the University of Maine at Farmington and Western Mountains Alliance.
The participating restaurants and hospital for the 2012 Maurer Meals on Oct. 12 and 13 are: The Homestead Bakery of Farmington (778-6162), The Sedgley Place of Greene (946-5990), The Olde Mill Tavern of Harrison (583-9077), LaFleur’s of Jay (897-2117), Forage Market of Lewiston (207-333-68400, She Doesn’t Like Guthries of Lewiston (376-3344), Cafe Nomad of Norway (739-2249), 76 Pleasant St. of Norway (744-9040), The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant of Rangeley (864-5805), Brian’s Bistro in Rumford (364-3300), The Bankery in Skowhegan (474-2253), The Heritage House in Skowhegan (474-5100), Kel-Mat Cafe in Skowhegan (474-0200) and Calzolaio Pasta Company of Wilton (645-9500).
For reservations, call the participating restaurant; for information about the scholarship, call Pat Carpenter of UMF at 778-7091; and for information about the Maurer Meals Project call Gary Maurer at 524-2060 or go to the website maurermeals.org or find the project on Facebook.