Nicoletta's Table helps to feed others on New Year's Eve
As many look for ways to give back during the holidays, Shari Newman came up with an idea.
Newman and her husband, Alan, own Nicoletta's Table & Marketplace in Lake Oswego. This year with business for all restaurants significantly challenged thanks to COVID-19, they were not in a position to make any financial contributions but they could share what they do best, share their delicious Italian cuisine with others.
After talking to her friend Linda Mathes, a board member for Lake Oswego Hunger Fighters, the idea came to fruition. They would make dinners for local families and share them on New Year's Eve.
Newman and her staff were already very familiar with Lake Oswego Hunger Fighters. For the past few months they were already donating up to 40 entrees each month to the local food pantry.
"We wanted to give back to the community and thought this made the most sense," said Newman.
According to Mathes, since COVID started, the local food pantry has seen a 50% increase in requests from the community.
With the bustling kitchen staff working at a feverish pace, the team at Nicoletta's created 111 meals for 69 local families by 3 pm on Friday, December 31.
Each family would receive a lasagna dinner that serves between 8-10 people, salad, loaf of focaccia bread, dessert and New Year's party favors.
Friends and Lake Oswego Old Town residents Ali Afghan and his wife, Billy, also joined in to help. They not only helped to fill the food bags for each family, but Ali created the logistical spreadsheet for making sure that all the family meals were organized correctly with the proper meal choice and time of delivery.
To make sure all the meals were delivered in time for New Year's Eve, Mathes recruited her husband, Malcolm, to enlist the assistance of Lake Oswego Rotary. Club Rotarians showed up in waves starting at 4 p.m. to start the delivery process and within just a few hours all the meals were delivered.
"We hope to make this an annual tradition," said Newman. "Hopefully we can inspire others to join us next year to really make a difference in our community."
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