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Community Meal returns for second year in new location

Community Meal proved so popular in its first year that it will move to the Morris Senior Center this year.

By Matthew Johnson

UMM News Service

Beginning last January, Stevens County residents gathered each month to prepare warm, healthy meals to serve to the community as part of a project called Community Meal.

This collaborative effort, designed to promote a strong, vibrant community, will continue this fall at a new location: the Morris Senior Community Center.

Community Meal is open to every member of the Morris-area community and entirely free of charge. This fall, meals will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the last Monday of every month - Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Nov. 30. All community members are invited to help prepare the meal by arriving at the Senior Center any time between 3 and 5:30 p.m. the afternoon of the event. The Morris Senior Community Center is located at 603 Oregon Avenue in Morris.

The project now serves 250 people each month and a committed group of UMM students and Stevens County residents has coalesced to ensure its success and longevity. Community Meal has established a reputation for its delicious menus and the warm, welcoming atmosphere that accompanies each meal.

Support for Community Meal is provided by a broad coalition of local businesses and organizations. This fall, the collaborating and sponsoring organizations include: Coborns, Pomme de Terre Food Co-op, Stevens Community Medical Center, Morris Lions Club, Bank of the West, Morris Kiwanis, Stevens County Food Shelf, Morris Senior Community Center and the UMM Office of Community Engagement.

"Many Morris residents have begun to look forward to Community Meal for the opportunity to share food and conversation with new faces while others have come to rely on the eventfor the opportunity to eat a warm, healthy meal," said Carol McCannon, community member and project organizer.

Lauren Dennhardt, UMM Community Engagement Student Representative, said, "Community Meal was organized with the belief in mind that sharing food can be a transformative experience."