Food brings us together, and Community Action Marin is now proud to be providing healthy and delicious meals to seniors aged 60 and older at community centers from Southern Marin to Novato. Thanks to a partnership with the County of Marin, our first lunch, featured above, took place over the holidays in Corte Madera. It was a tremendous success!
“We loved the food, some of the best, and getting together after so long was a real treat,” said one participant. “I look forward to coming back!”
Lunches like this one are made possible by the federal Older Americans Act Congregate Meal Program. Thanks to Community Action Marin’s Chef Jose and his incredible team, the agency was awarded a county contract this past year to provide lunches at several senior centers across the county. “I’m having fun cooking up my favorite recipes. People are really enjoying the Chicken and Hominy Pozole, which is based with a homemade guajillo chile paste. They say it’s amazing!” shares the chef.
Now, the Central Kitchen team is helping to ensure that more people who may be at risk of losing their independence have community-based nutrition services available to them.
“While visiting the Congregate Meal sites at community centers throughout Marin County, I am seeing people enjoying a good meal with friends, and CAM is so excited to see its nutrient-balanced meal eaten with incredible comradery,” said Betsy Bateson, Food Justice Manager.
As the largest non-profit anti-poverty agency in Marin County, Community Action Marin makes it possible for people to achieve well-being by providing the education, food access, mental health, and vital services they need. As more people in the county are aging into poverty, CAM’s services and advocacy for people of low income is strengthening across generations.
The agency operates all of its food services, including this new Congregate Meal Program and meals for the agency’s nine high-quality childcare centers, out of its 2,000 square foot Central Kitchen. This commercial kitchen provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks daily during program operations to over 500 children (toddler to school-age) across the county. The agency is a federally-approved Child and Adult Food Care Program operator, and the Central Kitchen is open 365 days a year for food service operations, as well as space rental for food entrepreneurs, and apprentices in the agency’s food training program.
Congregate Meal Insights
Community Action Marin staff deliver meals several times each week to Marin residents at community centers, and the team maintains trusted relationships with County of Marin site managers to help ensure on-time, reliable, hot meal service and good communication year-round. Menus follow USDA guidance and are planned and reviewed by a registered dietitian. Congregate meals are served buffet style and delivered each program day, hot and fresh, to sites.
Community Action Marin employs kitchen, farm, and site staff directly and works with local community parents and volunteers in support of its commitment to good food for all. The kitchen also caters for agency events for 200+ each year including celebrations and staff training days.
Congregate meals will be available weekdays at five locations in Marin: Albert Boro Center, Corte Madera Recreation Center, LifeLong Marin Adult Day Health Center, Margaret Todd Senior Center, and the San Rafael Community Center.
To participate in the program, seniors can call 415.473.4636 to make a reservation.
A Meal Donation of $3 is suggested, however meals are available for all participants at no cost. More information and a complete list of centers and their locations are on the Community Action Marin Website.