Food & Drink: With Love

This year, the Ceres Community Project celebrated 10 years of empowering teens, building community and nourishing critically ill folks. The Sebastopol-based nonprofit serves organic meals to around 150 families weekly throughout Sonoma and Marin counties. And when the recent fires started, the Ceres staff and volunteers sprang into action and began preparing meals for folks arriving in shelters.

“We all developed new skill sets that day,” says Communications Director Deborah Ramelli. “Before calls were even made, we had farmers, grocery stores and neighbors dropping off food—everyone wanted to help.”

The Ceres team developed simple menus, and on top of regular deliveries to sick clients, delivered and served 400 to 500 meals daily to various evacuation sites. It wasn’t just adults doing the heavy lifting—teens came from all kitchen sites (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa and San Rafael), and according to Ramelli, “the teen chefs were rock stars.”

What began with Ceres founder, Cathryn Couch, meeting in a church kitchen with six teens to prepare healthy meals for four families struggling with serious health issues, has become a community-based organization that has served more than 500,000 meals and counts love, generosity and compassion as deeply held values.

Because Ceres is so rooted in community, it was able to react quickly during the devastating fires. Before the national organizations were even on the ground, Ceres was there, nimbly doing what it does—nourishing and feeding communities with healthy food prepared with love.

To learn about volunteering in Marin, contact Linda@ceresproject.org.