PORT ORCHARD — Full Circle Meals began as an effort by a collection of South Kitsap business owners and civic organizers to stem the financial damage caused by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic to area restaurants devastated by mandated closures over the past year.
Its mission was two-fold: help distressed restaurants by generating a means for them to continue providing meals for people in parts of Kitsap County who themselves had been adversely impacted by the pandemic. For their efforts, the restaurants and food caterers would be paid for producing the meals though funding provided by Good Samaritans in the community.
The project was spearheaded by Steve Sego and his wife Coreen Haydock, co-owners of The Dock Bar & Eatery in Port Orchard; and assisted by the Port Orchard Rotary Club; the Arc of the Peninsulas nonprofit organization; Visit Kitsap Peninsula; Anna Gordon, owner of Crescent Moon Catering of Port Orchard; Suanne Martin Smith and Paul Robinson, co-owners of Home Made Cafe in Port Orchard; and many others in the county.
Now, a year later, the project to feed those at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus has come full circle, highlighted by the thanks of a grateful group of recipients who received restaurant-quality meals during sometimes dicey circumstances.
Top officials of the state Washington Department of Veterans Affairs gathered some of the project organizers Monday at the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil to offer their gratitude to Sego and Haydock, Gordon, and Martin Smith and Robinson for their work in executing the effort and in providing tasty meals.
Alfie Alvarado, WDVA director, and David Puente, deputy director of the agency, gave certificates of appreciation to the restaurant and catering business owners, which read in part:
“On behalf of your Office of Veterans Affairs, we’d like to say thank you for providing meals as a part of Full Circle Meals to our WDVA staff during the COVID-19 response. Your generosity and dedication to the Washington Veterans Home and transitional housing program during the COVID-19 pandemic are priceless. Thank you for supporting the morale and welfare of our staff. We recognize and thank you for serving those who serve.”
At the Veterans Home alone, the Full Circle Meals program provided 5,089 meals to WDVA staff, 200 meals to those at the Orting facility and 1,020 meals to veterans of the transitional housing program. Overall, the project raised approximately $500,000 and prepared and delivered more than 35,000 meals from three dozen businesses, Sego said.