Vermont Business Magazine Taps Tavern in Poultney recently became the 100th restaurant to join the Dinners with Love program. Dinners with Love is a nonprofit network of hospice agencies, restaurants, and volunteers who work together to bring food and comfort to hospice patients and their families. Local restaurants prepare and cook dinner free of charge, and volunteers deliver those meals to families at home.
Taps Tavern owner Serena Gallagher was inspired to join the program by a friend and neighbor she has known since childhood, Kathy Huntington. For her part, Huntington has been a volunteer for the Dinners with Love program at the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) in Rutland since earlier this year. Each week, she brings meals to families in and around Poultney.
“This can be a challenging area to get people involved,” said John Campbell, Volunteer Coordinator at VNAHSR. “Whenever a new restaurant or volunteer joins us, it’s pretty exciting.”
Serena Gallagher, owner of Taps Tavern, with Sarah Audet, Executive Director of Dinners with Love. Courtesy photo.
Gallagher says she has never experienced hospice care first-hand through a loved one, but can appreciate why the meals she donates–which she describes as “pub-style with a twist”¬–are important.
“Preparing meals does take time, and it’s nice not to have to worry about where your next dinner is coming from,” she said.
Sarah Audet, Dinners with Love Executive Director, echoed Gallagher’s sentiments. “If you have ever lost a loved one after a long illness, then you know how challenging the end-of-life can be,” she said. “We are here to ensure that both patient and caregiver feel nourished, comforted, and supported by their community.”
And community is precisely why Gallagher wanted to join Dinners with Love.
“My restaurant would not be what it is today without our amazing community. This is a small gesture, a way to give back to the community that I care about.”
In 2017, Dinners with Love program volunteers delivered 2,082 meals donated by 68 restaurants to 155 homes throughout Vermont. With 100 restaurants now participating in the program, the organization expects that they will be able to provide meals to even more hospice patients and their families this year.
To see a complete listing of all participating restaurants or to sign your restaurant up for the Dinners with Love program, visit dinnerswithlove.org or call (802) 465-1027.
About Dinners with Love, Inc.
Dinners with Love, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Brandon, VT. Their program provides free meals to hospice patients and their families. The program is currently available in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Essex, Grand Isle, Orleans, and Rutland Counties. Dinners with Love can be found on the web at www.dinnerswithlove.org.
About Taps Tavern
Taps Tavern is a warm, rustic restaurant featuring 14 beers and ciders on tap. Taps was opened by Serena Gallagher in September 2012, and has been a regional success ever since. Serena brings 16 years of experience in the food and beverage industry to the people of Poultney and the surrounding area. Taps Tavern can be found on the web at www.tapstavern.com.
Source: VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region 9.10.2018