Last week, Jack and I visited Monterey for the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s quarterly meeting. He and I serve on a committee and I serve on two boards, chairing one.

After Friday’s meetings, we spent the weekend exploring, whale watching from our inn and eating incredible meals of fresh and luscious seafood, such as sand dabs, crab and cioppino. By the end of Sunday, our seafood urges felt sated.

Jack and my philosophy about travel? Sleep and travel cheap, but eat well.

Monday morning at my desk, reviewing the editor’s log, my sumptuous weekend brought to mind a photo I snapped last week at Fairway honoring Diane Johnson for donating food to St. Hugh’s for its Thursday warm lunches. While waiting for Diane to take a little break from her management responsibilities and join us for a photo, lunch organizer Christina Nordella told me a bit about what she has experienced during these lunches.

She said this may be the only meal some of the participants eat all day. Some elderly on fixed incomes eat out of cans so this may be their only “home-cooked” meal that week. Once the menu is planned, Diane allows the St. Hugh’s volunteers to come to the store, grab a cart and shop.

Years ago, local volunteers offered Meals on Wheels and a senior lunch everyday through the Mt. San Jacinto Senior Center (now the county’s Mountain Resource Center). Once those  programs folded, nothing existed to nourish many of our neighbors who live alone on a small income.

Now, because of giving hearts at St. Hugh’s, Fairway and Strawberry Creek Bakery, anyone may receive a free, warm lunch each Thursday.

Becky Clark,