Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: With community help, Dinners With Love feeds hospice patients

On behalf of Dinners with Love, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Vergennes Lions Club for donating Thanksgiving meals to some of the families in our Addison County program who needed a little extra love this time of year.
Each week, Dinners with Love provides meals, donated by local restaurants, to hospice patients and their families. These meals offer comfort, relief, and even joy during a stressful and uncertain time. But we are typically unable to offer meals on holidays when most of our restaurant partners are understandably closed. The Lions Club donation meant that families had a delicious meal to share when they otherwise would have had to cook for themselves, or worse, gone without.
Dinners with Love partners with seven hospice agencies throughout the state, including Addison County Home Health & Hospice right here in our own backyard. (Funny enough — there’s another Sara Audet who works at ACHHH and we often get mixed up!)
At the moment, our network is 50 volunteers and 117 restaurants strong, allowing us to serve nearly 90 families throughout the state on a weekly basis. So far this year, our volunteers have delivered nearly 4,000 meals to more than 220 families — that’s up from 2,082 meals and 155 families in all of 2017. We’re really proud of how much we have grown this year, but when you consider there are 2,000 Vermonters annually who receive hospice care at the end of life, we have our work cut out for us to reach them all. Challenge: accepted.
And finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the 16 restaurants here in Addison County who kindly prepare and donate meals to hospice families in our community every week. I extend my gratitude to 3 Squares Café, Black Sheep Bistro, The Bobcat Café, The Bridge Restaurant, Coriander, Costello’s Market, Cubbers, Halfway House, Jessica’s Restaurant, Morgan’s Tavern, Mr. Up’s Restaurant & Pub, Park Squeeze, Rosie’s Restaurant, Storm Café, Subway, and Two Brothers Tavern. It is such a privilege to have them on our team — we absolutely could not do this without them.
If you’d like to learn more about Dinners with Love and ways to get involved, please visit us on the web at dinnerswithlove.org.
Sarah M. Audet
Executive Director
Dinners with Love Inc.
Bridport

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