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Best friends prepare meals for homeless people at newly-renovated Bangor shelter

Dan Dearborn and Danny Price come from a program that Living Innovations puts together for people with special needs to volunteer and help make a difference.

BANGOR, Maine — Feeding dozens of people each day takes a big and comfortable kitchen.

The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter just renovated its kitchen to allow more space for cooking and donation storage. The walk-in cooler taking the majority of the kitchen space is now located outside by the back door.

Danny Price and Dan Dearborn are best friends. On Monday, they always go to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter to make meals from scratch for the people who stay at the shelter. Their mentor, Carrie Moore, said it's volunteer work they look forward to and truly enjoy, especially at the newly-renovated kitchen.

Price and Dearborn came from a Living Innovations program for people with special needs.

On Monday, they made beef stew with the guidance of Moore.

Shelter Director Boyd Kronholm said they feed more than 50 people a day, and its new kitchen and generous helping hands makes the job easier.

"Especially with the amount of donations that we get, they would stack up outside. We would have a difficult time taking care of them, and this would give us a little bit more room to take care of the donations. And if we have a large group of people cooking and serving for our guests, they have more space to move about," Kronholm said.

"At Living Innovations, we do a lot of volunteer work!" Moore said.

Moore said it's essential for them to participate in this endeavor because they learn a wide array of skills. 

"We learn great knife skills. We learn serving skills. We learn hospitality skills!" Moore said.

"It's a lot of fun. I like serving to the people," Price said.

Price and Dearborn both agreed they look forward to Mondays. Not only do they make and serve the meals, but they interact with the shelter's guests.

"We have around 30 guests that we feed three meals to a day, and then our soup kitchen we are still doing bagged lunches out the back door, and that's about 50 a day. And then the evening we have 30 more people coming in for the warming center, and we are also feeding them," Kronholm said.

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