Charity COVID-19 Featured People

Salem Construction Firm Partners to Provide Meals Amid COVID-19 Crisis

(l-r) Root graduates Connor Holland and Taryn Osborne prepare emergency meals in Root’s professional kitchen for area organizations.

Salem, MA – Groom Construction has teamed up with Root to provide emergency meals for area organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their Salem headquarters and professional kitchen, Root alumni and staff are preparing meals, funded by Groom, for agencies serving the homeless, youth in foster care, formerly homeless youth, and individuals with disabilities. These organizations include Lifebridge North Shore, Northeast ARC, Plummer Youth Promise, North Shore Community Development Coalition and the YMCA Grace Child Development Center.

Groom first approached Root in early April to ask if they would prepare a dinner for clients at Lifebridge North Shore, a Salem-based homeless shelter. This partnership has enabled Root to provide over 420 nutritious and wholesome meals to date to people in need. With the help of volunteers, these packaged meals have been hand delivered to organizations all over the North Shore.

In early March, Root suspended its youth training program in the culinary arts due to the pandemic and within a week was able to redirect their resources and begin producing meals for people in crisis, while employing graduates of their program. Since March 20, they have provided food for over 5,400 people, including older adults in senior housing and school-age children, and they have been able to employ Root alumni for over 400 hours.

Root graduate Connor Holland prepares emergency meals in Root’s professional kitchen for area organizations.

Root also continues to check in with their trainees and graduates to provide support and guidance, and, in some cases, food.

Root’s vision is to prepare youth to enter the workforce with confidence, self-agency, and a competitive edge. To do this, the Salem-based organization combines 240 hours of culinary and food service training, workforce preparedness, on-the-job experiences, life skills workshops and social capital, into an intensive 12-week program. To learn more about Root or to help, visit www.rootns.org.