Norway’s Progress Center receives grant for Community Kitchen program

NORWAY — The Progress Center has received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support The Progress Center’s Community Kitchen program located at 35 Cottage St.

The Community Kitchen umbrella includes multiple nutrition-based programs for all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2008, The Progress Center’s Community Kitchen began serving 45 meals per week from a church kitchen. Now, up to 200 meals per week are served in the agency’s licensed kitchen and dining area.

The Feel Better Food program provides newly-discharged hospital patients, who are at risk of malnutrition, with up to four weeks of individually-tailored meals to meet their dietary needs.

The Produce Distribution Program is a collaboration between Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn and a local grocer to make fruits, vegetables and bread products available to people experiencing food insecurity.

To date 170,882 pounds of food have passed through our doors.

The Level Up program distributes food and personal hygiene items to 19 high school students each week. In addition, each month care packages include personal care products like toothpaste and deodorant.

Executive Director Jennifer Putnam explains that this grant will “allow our kitchen to provide much needed support to members of our community most in need. Our organization is built on the drive and compassion of our employees to do good in the world.”

More than 160 Mainers are employed by The Progress Center, she noted, and in 2017, more than 406 individuals with intellectual disabilities and their family members benefited from the many services provided by TPC, such as case management, residential support and community inclusion services.”

The Progress Center plans to use the funds to support more students, increase the service area covered by the Feel Better Food Program and continue to provide free food to those in need. More information can be found at