UPDATE: The Community House has canceled the launch of its take-out meals by Resident Chef Jarred Harris. Officials reported that they had had the right intention – to raise money to support the Culinary Education Center and SCA operations, as all programming has been shut down due to coronavirus concerns – but neglected to recognize how it would impact the island restaurants, which have started take-out services to get by during these difficult times. Instead, The Community House will list on its Website at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net as many island restaurants as it can identify offering take-out. Officials urged the public to support the eateries, which also have their support.
ORIGINAL (March 23, 2020):
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Community House on Sanibel is launching a planned fundraiser early to provide island residents and visitors with another option for food pick-up.
Starting two weeks ahead of schedule, the facility will offer gourmet frozen to-go meals between March 25 and April 29. Crafted and prepared by Resident Chef Jarred Harris, they are priced at $10 or $20 per serving and cover gluten-free, vegetarian and seafood options, with all ingredients listed.
Proceeds from the sales will benefit its Culinary Education Center of Sanibel.
Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall explained that committees at the venue had come up with fundraiser ideas and one was to sell soups and stews over last year’s holiday season. She said the meal sales were a successful hit, so organizers had planned to do another one over the Easter holiday.
But then the coronavirus took hold, with mandates coming down on eateries statewide.
“We did have older people asking if Jarred could cook for them, so they didn’t have to go out,” she said. “So we decided to move it up a couple of weeks and help people out.”
To place an order, call 239-472-2155 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders must be placed in advance; those placed by Monday can be picked up outside of the facility’s kitchen on Wednesday and Friday between 1 and 4 p.m.
Customers will drive up and provide their name and then the food is brought to their vehicle.
“They don’t even have to get out of the car,” Riska-Hall said.
She explained that the fundraiser enables people to limit their public contact with others because they do not have to enter a store, which helps to reduce their chance of catching and spreading the virus.
“The whole idea behind this is so that we could limit face-to-face contact. Plus, we understand many of these people do have underlying conditions, so they also want to limit their face-to-face contact,” Riska-Hall said. “It’s something that helps us out, as well as the people out, so it’s a win-win.”
As for meal options, there are four entrees with sides for $20 each, which are:
– Boneless beef short rib with scalloped potatoes and vegetables
– Polenta cakes with wild mushroom ragout and steamed vegetables
– Caribbean-style curried chicken with basmati rice and grilled squash
– Seafood pie topped with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus
In addition, 16 ounces of the following are available for $10 each:
– Bison and black bean chili
– Asparagus soup
“It’s a little bit of everything. We wanted to offer things that we thought people would really like,” she said, noting that the selected dishes were praised or a favorite at community socials or other events.
“People could actually come and pick up a mix of different meals,” Riska-Hall added.
A list of all ingredients is available.
Customers may order as many of each dish as desired, while supplies last.
“We’re hoping to go online,” she said of the ordering options. “We’re working on that.”
Payments by credit card can be taken in advance; payments during pick up must be cash or check.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to place their orders.
“They get a great meal for a great price and you also help a charity out,” Riska-Hall said.
For more information, call 239-472-2155.
The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.