Perinton’s Curbside Lunch program hit a milestone on Wednesday when Cindy Day purchased Lunch # 30,000.
Cindy won a week of free curbside lunches.
The 55+ Program and Chef Preston Bennett launched the Curbside Lunch Program in June 2020 when the 55+ Community Hall closed due to the pandemic. The City quickly realized that seniors would need a safe way to continue to get their balanced and affordable breakfasts.
The Curbside program allowed seniors to order by phone or online, get in the loop outside the Perinton Community Center, and grab their lunch without leaving their car.
Before the pandemic, the elderly could come to the CCP for lunch, with about two dozen lunches served per day. Since June 2020, the curbside program has generated an average of more than 109 breakfasts per day, including more than 125 per day in the past two months.
“This program took off from the start and it has been better than I ever thought it would be,” said city supervisor Ciaran Hanna. “Seniors were really at risk when the pandemic started and we wanted to make sure their needs were met. The community embraced the program and it was very special to watch. “
Hanna went on to congratulate 55-plus-year-old principal Kelly Attridge and Bennett, who faithfully serve seniors 3 or 4 days a week. Maggie Monsen also took the bulk of the reservations and volunteers helped cook and serve for the program. Denise Conaway is Bennett’s right-hand man in the kitchen, and Eileen Belaskas is around almost every day to help get food to the cars, whether it’s 90 degrees, rain or snow.
“I’m proud of the crew we have,” said Attridge. “We couldn’t do it without the dedicated volunteers. It is not easy to coordinate this every day and we are succeeding. There are many days when I’m just in awe of us doing it.
Bennett doesn’t just serve grilled cheese sandwiches and fries every day. This week alone he served pork chops, Salisbury steak, chicken pie, spaghetti and meatballs. This does not include the weekly salads and soups specials.
“I knew this program could reach that level,” Bennett said. “I didn’t think it would take a pandemic for us to realize our potential, but everyone stepped up and really produced some great food. We keep improving. I’m just proud of everyone involved.