By Jeff Gallatin
About the only thing that has gotten smaller at the Village Food Project is its name – which is now the The Village Project.
Originally established two years ago to provide meals for people and their families who are dealing with cancer, Executive Director Barb Harrell said the project remains committed to providing meals and services to those people and their families.
“We are dedicated to continue serving nourishing meals to our neighbors battling cancer and equally devoted to increasing services and support for the patient and entire family,” she said. “All involved continue to look forward to sharing our long-term vision as it continues to develop.”
Harrell said the name change will help reflect the larger amount of services and increased scope of the project its members work at providing to their clients.
“We’ve been doing other things like decorating, yard work and other things which can help the people and their families,” she said.
She said there also has been an increase in people wanting to help out since the project was formed.
“The response has been phenomenal,” Harrell said. “People are seeing this as an opportunity to provide support for those with cancer as well as offer support for those in the community.”
She said the program also is working on becoming more multigenerational.
“We’re getting a wide range of people and age groups participating,” she said.
She said the project will continue to provide services in Bay Village and Avon Lake, and has a goal of expanding its services into Rocky River in the future.
Debbie Bock, community service director for the city of Bay Village, said the project provides a valuable service.
“We’re fortunate to have a service like that in Bay Village,” she said. “They provide a lot of valuable assistance to people who can really use it.”
Bock said she tried recipes for healthy eating put together for the group’s menus for their clients.
“I cooked them all, and they’re healthy and good for people,” she said.
Bock noted that although she doesn’t live in Bay Village, she used the recipes after she had a standard colonoscopy check last year, which led to her having major internal surgery.
“They were very handy to have and use at that point,” she said. “My situation shows how a person and their families have to deal with something that’s unexpected in many cases. Having an organization able to come in and help in that situation is a big benefit to the community and its families.”
Bock said Harrell and the people involved with The Village Project deserve credit for being actively involved in the community and caring for other people.
“Those type of people are special with the help they provide,” she said.
In a related area, Harrell said in addition to the name change, the group is also glad to welcome board members Terry Cariglio, John Engelbrecht, Loren McKeon, Jean Prokes and Ann Paras.