ELLSWORTH, Maine — If you've ever wanted to combine your love of cooking with a desire to give back to the community, the Beth. C Wright Cancer Resource Center has the perfect program for you.
The 'Home-Cooked Healing Meals Program' provides meals to people with cancer. The program was put on pause for more than a year due to the pandemic, but organizers are eager to get it back up and running. All that's needed is more cooks to prepare the meals.
The volunteer cooks can prepare the meals from the comfort of their kitchens. All that's required is following the dietary needs and preferences of the patient.
Cathy Flesh, meal coordinator and cook for the program, said the cooks are able to get creative when it comes to the dishes they make.
“It’s nothing that's written in stone that you have to follow. It’s something that if you feel it's gonna work, you cook it,” Flesh said.
The patients who receive the meals remain completely anonymous.
The costs of the ingredients to prepare the meals are completely covered by the Cancer Resource Center. Once the cooks prepare the meals, they drop them off at the Center. Other volunteers then pick up the meals and deliver them to each home once a week.
The program provides patients and their families with five dinners per week for an eight-week period. Since it serves people with weakened immune systems, safety is a top priority for the program. All cooks are required to be certified through Maine's ServSafe program, a training certification for food safety. If a person does not have the certification, the center will pay and coordinate that training for all of its incoming volunteer cooks.