MOSIER – AARP has selected six projects in Oregon to receive funds for its Community Challenge grant program.
The largest grant, $20,000, is going to a community kitchen project in the city of Mosier, located about halfway between Hood River and The Dalles.
Marie Mourou is chef involved with the community kitchen. She noted that about 35% of Mosier’s population is age 50 or older.
“In the past two years, like many communities, Mosier has seen the needs of its citizens increase,” said Mourou. “One in three people in the Columbia River Gorge are food insecure, and we need community spaces like the Mosier Center.”
The plan is to build a community kitchen in the city’s community center to provide space to prepare free weekly meals, plus host a food pantry and some commercial uses.
Other Community Challenge grant recipients in Oregon include the city of Woodburn, to provide a public gathering space for older residents, and a sustainable living center in Salem.
Mourou said the United States is lacking in public spaces and so creating them, as with Mosier’s community center and kitchen, is invaluable.
“It can bring generations together,” said Mourou. “It can bring people together who might not be able to have conversations surrounding just everyday life. And we hope that the Mosier Center is a place where all people feel welcome to come.”
AARP is funding 260 projects across the country through a total of $3.4 million in grants. They selected projects that make cities more livable for people of all ages, and that can be completed by November 30.
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