Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 25, 2018
Deer Run continues to serve up food, comfort weekly
Sharon Eaton, left, has created relationships with several Deer Run residents over the years, including Tenney Gavaza, pictured here. Sharon Eaton has been cooking lunches for Deer Run Apartment residents, four days a week, for the last 30 years.
by Monique Labbe
Sharon Eaton has been serving up meals at Deer Run Apartments for the last 30 years, and from bacon wrapped meatloaf to macaroni and cheese, her meals have been enjoyed by the residents from decade to decade.
Eaton not only does all the cooking, but also develops the menus each month, four days a week, and plans table decorations and other lunchtime activities week to week. She also cooks for meals in Sedgwick and Stonington on Wednesdays, which are picked up and delivered in time for lunch.
A modest group was in attendance for lunch on Tuesday, October 23, but the participants were all vocal about what the lunches, and Eaton, mean to them.
“I’m not sure I would eat if I didn’t have this,” one Deer Run resident said. “[Eaton] might be a cook, but she also looks after us like a mother hen.”
Tenney Gavaza, who has been a participant of the meals program for several years, noted that it has been a great way for people to keep in touch, get together, and, ultimately, enjoy good food.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a meal that wasn’t great,” said Gavaza. “I think we all agree Sharon’s food is really good.”
Eaton said that the program is self sustaining at this point, but they could always use donations or extra help in keeping it going.
“Whether it’s donations, or just coming and having a meal with us, seeing what we do here, every little bit would help,” said Gavaza. “This is something that is really important to those of us who live here, and it would be great to have some extra help from the community.”
Lunch begins at 12 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with a small suggested donation.
“We do holiday dinners, we decorate and make it festive,” said Eaton. “Those are all open to the public if people would like to come eat with us. It really is a good time.”
While the residents agree that the food is delicious, they were also unanimous in what the most important thing is to them about having Eaton in their lives.
“Sharon is a great cook, but an even better person,” said Gavaza. “If someone doesn’t show up, she calls and checks in. It’s nice to have someone like that.”