Packing bags at Worton Community Center are Mary Jordan, Tammy Rose, Carlene Wilson Carrie Reiling, and Paul Tue. Photo by Barbara Esmonde. Feature image: Betterton residents Cheryl and Cat help pack means for freezing. Photo by Barbara Esmonde.

 

Kent’s Social Action Committee for Racial Justice enters Week 6 of its COVID-19 call to action, the volunteers have done an incredible job responding to food supply demands for seniors and children.

Working from its ad hoc headquarters at the Kent County Community Center in Worton, the organization has created a network of donation and supply centers cross the county.

The most public faces of SACRJ’s food supply mission are Arlene Lee, local attorney and social activist, and Paul Tue of Bayside H.O.Y.A.S., but scores of volunteers and literally tons of donated food have supported the effort.
Even as they enter Week 6 of SACRJ response, the energy level remains high.

“Our volunteers need no motivation – Kent County has rallied around this initiative,” Tue said about the rapid volunteer recruitment, adding that all along personal health safety is practiced. “From the second week on we have been encouraging all involved to take days off, self-care has been stressed at every turn for all.”

Every week has brought a new challenge for the SACRJ effort.

Barbara Esmonde, chef-owner of Barbara’s on the Bay, came last week to volunteer and quickly realized the role local restaurants could play. I started with a call to her produce supplier, Teddy Fresh in Easton. Next, she saw the opportunity to convert donations into prepared meals ready to heat and serve.

“I spent enough time carrying for aging parents to understand the importance of access to a hot meal,” Esmonde remarked. “My next calls were to some local chefs.”

“Getting chefs to prepare meals is a two-fold win for us,” Tue said. “It offers those who can’t get out to restaurants a quality cooked meal and it ensures that none of our donations of fresh food goes to waste as we are able to freeze meals after they are cooked.”

Esmond has recruited local chef’s Steve Quigg of The Kitchen at the Imperial, Geraine Lanaux of Germaine’s Uptown, and Jeff Carroll of The Fishwhistle at the Granary to prepare meals that can be individually packaged and frozen. Meals are delivered to the Kent Community Center where Tammy Rose coordinates the incoming and outgoing items.

SACJR menu items will include chili, chicken a’la king, baked ziti, and pasta and marinara sauce.

“It may not be the prettiest presentation, but these meals will be nutritious and delicious for our seniors,” Esmonde said.

“That is our goal,” Tue said.