Husson University partners with the Caleb Group and Harbor Management to provide Thanksgiving dinner to elderly and disabled

Nearly 100 meals being given to Bradford Commons and Kenduskeag Terrace residents

BANGOR — At Thanksgiving, most of us are thinking about eating large amounts of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. It’s a holiday where Americans celebrate the bounties of the season.

“It’s not a time of year when we usually think about what it means to be an elderly or disabled person, on a fixed income, who lives alone and struggles to pay the bills,” said Bob Sedgwick, the director of dining services at Husson University. “For many of these individuals, food insecurity is a daily challenge. Here at Husson, our campus culture emphasizes the importance of character and humility. So, when the opportunity presented itself to make Thanksgiving better for some struggling members of our community, we jumped at the chance to be involved.” 

Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, Husson’s Dining Services team will be preparing 96 free Thanksgiving meals at the University’s Dickerman Dining Center for elderly and disabled residents living at Bradford Commons and Kenduskeag Terrace in Bangor. Harbor Management manages both facilities.

The all-volunteer Dining Services team at the University helping to prepare these meals includes Husson University Chef Dave Schultz. Schultz is well known to area food aficionados as the co-winner of the “Professional Chef” and “People’s Choice” awards at Maine Lobsterpalooza’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese competition in 2017. Assisting the chef in the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal will be Sedgwick; Carole Bemis, an administrative assistant in Dining Services; and Julie Perkins, Dining Services’ purchasing and technology coordinator.

The 96 completed meals will be picked up by Laurie Holmes, the resident services coordinator for the Caleb Group and her husband at 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving. They will then immediately deliver the meals to elderly and disabled residents at Bradford Commons and Kenduskeag Terrace. Caleb Group Property Manager Kim Scheid and the rest of the organization’s office staff have volunteered to assist in the meal delivery process. Bradford Commons is located at 201 Husson Avenue and Kenduskeag Terrace is at 117 Court Street.

While serving residents is part of Holmes’ job, she finds an enormous amount of personal satisfaction in bringing smiles to residents’ faces when they receive a Thanksgiving meal. “There is something that makes Thanksgiving a special holiday. It’s a time when we remember to be grateful for what we have. Getting a hot Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings does more than satisfy someone’s hunger – it lifts their spirit, and that’s something we should all feel good about.”

Food insecurity in America continues to be a significant issue among the elderly and the disabled. According to 2020 edition of The State of Senior Hunger in America, an annual report produced by the Feeding America network, 5.3 million seniors, or 7.3 percent of the senior population, were food insecure in 2018. In 2013, nearly one in three (31.8 percent) food insecure households included a working age adult who had a disability.

“We need to work together if

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