Bedford Community Table Begins its 25th Year

Bedford Community Table and Pantry founder and 2015 Citizen of the Year and his crew of volunteers with the cake that capped off the dinner marking the start of the -__;s 25th year. - Image (c) JMcCT, 2015
Bedford Community Table and Pantry founder and 2015 Citizen of the Year and the crew of volunteers who prepared and served the dinner marking the start of the program’s 25th year. – Image (c) JMcCT, 2015

By Dot Bergin

Citizen of the Year Peter Grey served the salad while other volunteers dished up the main course and served the guests - Image (c) JMcCT 2015 all rights reserved
Citizen of the Year Peter Grey served the salad while other volunteers dished up the main course and served the guests – Image (c) JMcCT 2015 all rights reserved

When your dinner is cooked and served by Bedford’s Citizen of the Year Peter Grey, you can be sure of an extra-tasty meal!

And that is what guests at the September 17 “Anniversary” Community Table dinner enjoyed this past Thursday evening as the opening dinner of the 2015/16 season got underway. The week’s dinner was especially noteworthy, because as Grey told the guests, it marked the start of the 25th year of this popular Bedford happening. And who cooked the dinner on that first occasion back in 1991? Why, Peter Grey of course!

On Thursday evening, Grey was busy serving up a fresh green salad from an enormous bowl. But he took a moment from his duties to welcome guests and to thank the crew of volunteers who make the dinners possible.  Back in the kitchen, chefs Linda and Frank Marino, along with their friend Tim Beckwith from Stoneham, were responsible for producing a delicious roast pork dinner, with “sides” of roasted potatoes and green beans.  The cooks were on hand early in the afternoon to get preparations underway. (The Marinos are gourmet cooks who love to get together with friends for a shared meal.)

Meantime, as guests came and seated themselves with old friends and new, they were greeted by hostess Deb Trainer and servers Cindy Brosco and Lori Pariseau.  Each table was festively decorated with glittery gold centerpieces and New Orleans style – beads, arranged by Deb’s son Sam Trainer.  Also helping with serving were Charlotte Reed and Lorraine and Zurek Delhorne, friends of Peter.

As the dinner came to an end, Peter’s high school student volunteers appeared and began efficiently cleaning tables and putting Town Center’s Shawsheen Room back in order.  Lily Hartman led the cleanup crew, with help from Otto and Ava Altmann, Alex Craven, Andrew Latady and San Watson.  As Deb Trainer later remarked to this reporter, “We had a great crew last night; it takes a village to put on these dinners.”

During the school year, with the exception of holidays and Bedford Public Schools’ snow days, the Community Table dinners take place every Thursday from 5 to 6 pm.

The next dinner will take place at 5 pm on Thursday, September 24, when the menu will feature spinach lasagna and Caesar salad.

All are welcome.  For some, the dinner provides a much needed wholesome meal during times when money for food may be in short supply.  For others, particularly the seniors in town, the dinner is a time for socializing and making new friends.

Peter and Deb are always interested in hearing from residents with a few hours to help, either with the Pantry or the Community Table Dinners. During the year, various church groups, businesses, and individual families take on the responsibility for a dinner.  For more information on the tasks needed to run the Pantry and the Community Dinners, please visit the web site: https://www.bedfordfoodpantry.org/content/volunteer

During the dinner, Pantry volunteers bundled fresh vegetables for clients - Image (c) JMcCT, 2015 all rights reserved
During the dinner, Pantry volunteers bundled fresh vegetables for clients – Image (c) JMcCT, 2015 all rights reserved

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

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