Our Stories: A labor of love, a bountiful feast

It doesn’t take a foodie to recognize a home-cooked meal means more than just fuel and nutrition. It also represents warmth, caring and love – just ask the Providence Portland Medical Center employees who prep, cook and deliver 100 meals a month to Transition Projects, a social service agency that helps people transition out of homelessness.

For the nutrition services team at Providence Portland, it’s typical to cook 1,000 to 1,200 meals a day. When there are extra servings left over, the team saves it for a few days so it remains fresh. Rather than discard it, they save it for Transitions Projects.

“It’s exactly what the Sisters of Providence had in mind. You share what you have,” said Ken Krenzler, Providence executive chef. A recent menu for Transitions Projects included salmon, chicken, lasagna, squash risotto, fresh and frozen vegetables, and a large container of fresh fruit.

Getting 100 meals a month to Transitions Project definitely requires a team effort. Groups of Providence employees take turns delivering and serving the meals.

“We love to come here because the residents seem so grateful. They say ‘you have the best food that we eat’ and everyone says thank you,” said Kelly Buechler, executive director of the Providence Portland Medical Foundation. “It makes you feel real good.”