Laughter may be the best medicine, but healthy food is the best form of healing. Since 2006, the Ceres Community Project has been committed to this idea of food as part of the cycle of renewal from illness. The project is named for Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain. As a symbol of motherhood, she represents the source of nourishment for the community.
Keeping in line with this philosophy, the nonprofit organization teaches teens from over 17 schools throughout Sonoma County to prepare meals each week for individuals who endure such life-threatening illnesses as cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. Volunteers appropriately dubbed "delivery angels" then distribute the wholesome meals to the families' homes. By the end of this year, the Ceres Community Project will have provided a total of some 45,000 meals to residents suffering from health issues since the project began. As the executive director of the project, Cathryn Couch believes the organization is a continual process of learning, teaching and giving back to those in need. "It's all about what we can accomplish when we pull our resources," says Couch. "The kids [involved] in the project know that they're cooking for people whose lives are on the line. There is a profound lesson there for kids in today's world to understand that link between food and health."
Committed not only to the well-being of its clients, the project solely utilizes organic food to support local farmers and ecosystems. No empty calories or sugar are found in the meals—only fresh, nutrient-rich food. "People with cancer have a lot of toxins in their body from various treatments like chemotherapy," Couch says. "It changes their taste buds and without solid nutrition people don't have what they need in order to rebuild and heal. We want their bodies to have as much support as possible."On Sept. 19, Lynmar Winery in Sebastopol opens its doors to the Ceres Community Project for an evening of live music, community action and food and wine pairings featuring Iron Horse Vineyards, Skip Stone Ranch, Outpost Winery and Redwood Hill Farm and Dairy.
This event is set for Sat., Sept. 19, at 6p.m. Lynmar Winery, 3909 Frei Road, Sebastopol. $50–$100, sliding scale. 707.829.5833, ext.4.
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