Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, left, Zach Boyd and Jenna-Rae Brown carry meals packed at the Auburn Senior Community Center to pass along to needy Auburn residents in their vehicles Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

When St. Patrick’s Day meals were canceled because of the coronavirus and restaurants began to close, the food did not go to waste.

Staff from the Auburn Recreation Department, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque and volunteers reached out to those local restaurants and as a result, Auburn’s “Grab ‘N Go” meal service program was born.

Zach Boyd and Jenna-Rae Brown put ingredient labels on hamburger soup at the Auburn Senior Community Center on Friday.. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“This all came together over the past three days,” Levesque said about the 100 free meals he and others helped prepare and pass through the car windows of Auburn residents on Friday morning.

“Schools provide breakfast and lunch and now we have dinner for them too,” Levesque said.

Levesque said the goal is to not have to to go to the grocery store for any of the meals that they will hand out on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “That would be compounding the problem,” Levesque said about the low supplies at supermarkets.

“We would like to have contributions, but we can help cover the cost if need be,” Levesque said about the source of food for weeks to come. “Gritty’s really came through for us today,” Jenna-Ra Brown said. “Gritty’s made today happen,” said Brown.

The Auburn brew pub temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic and donated a bunch of food.

Auburn families and seniors needing assistance with food can register for meals for the next four weeks on the City of Auburn website. “We can provide 100 meals each day,” said Recreation Director Sabrina Best said. “We have 25 on the wait list for today (Friday) and already have four on the wait list for Tuesday.”

“I signed up to make 15 to 20 meals of two to three different meals,” said volunteer Kimbre Varney. “It turned into making 150 of two separate meals,” chuckled Varney.

Pre-cooked pasta meals only need to be warmed up. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Some meals, like Friday’s hamburger soup, are already cooked. Some, like crockpot BBQ chicken, need to be warmed up. “Our goal is to make meals that are great for the crockpot,” Best said.

“This is a huge help for our elderly residents,” said Lisa Rodriquez, who picked up meals for elderly residents of Lake Auburn Towne House. “As long as I feel good, I’m going to help out as much as I can,” she said. “I donated blood yesterday.”

“There are lots of families that need this,” Cynthia Morgan said while picking up meals for three families.

Levesque said Friday’s “Grab ‘N Go” went well for the first day. “I learned a lot today,” he said. “I learned that everyone in Auburn has a crockpot.” “That’s a good thing to know. Now we know what to prepare for next week.”

“I signed up to make 15 to 20 meals of two to three different meals,” volunteer Kimbre Varney, left, said. “It turned into making 150 of two different meals,” chuckled Varney. Behind Varney, packaging pasta sauce to go, are Tracey Levesque and Jenna-Rae Brown. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Zach Boyd hands Cynthia Morgan of Auburn meals to go at the Auburn Senior Community Center on Friday. Morgan, a social worker for the Auburn School Department, picked up meals for three families. “There are a lot of families that need this,” she said. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: