By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,542)
Thousands crowded Monument Square yesterday to get a free bowl of Harvest Vegetable Stew and increase awareness of the tragedy of wasted food that permeates our society. Seventy-five (75) volunteers assisted in the production of this day long event that featured speakers, chefs and students from area schools.
Also present at the “Feeding the 5000 Portland” event was US. Representative Chellie Pingree (D) who has been a leader in efforts to redirect food that is salvageable for reuse to help prevent food insecurity that is a serious problem in pockets of Maine.
Ilma Lopez, who with her husband, Damian Sansonetti, are chefs and owners of the popular Piccolo, were responsible for making the Harvest Vegetable Stew that was served to over 1,000 people during the event. Three thousand (3,000) portions were made according to Ilma. Some of the ingredients included in the Stew were Swiss chard, carrots, brocoli, squash as well as onions and garlic.
“Portland is the 41st city in the world and the smallest city to host a Feeding the 5000 event,” said Sargent.
The event was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Cumberland County Food Security Council and Healthy Acadia.