Business letters from Central Maine: Restaurant Augusta, community solar business partner for local meals on wheels

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The Red Barn Restaurant in Augusta recently partnered with Ampion Renewable Energy, a community solar company founded in Bar Harbor, raising $3,000 for meals on wheels. From left are Victoria Abbot, Community Engagement Director, Spectrum Generations; Laura Benedict, owner of The Red Barn restaurant; Nate Miller Sr., program director, Spectrum Generations; and Ted Rioux, Senior Sales Executive, Ampion Renewable Energy. photo submitted

AUGUSTA — Nearly 1 in 3 Maine seniors are hungry or at risk of starvation. Many have to choose between paying for food or other essentials like medicine and warmth. Like many Mainers, these seniors are now cost-burdened by rising electricity costs in 2022.

To address these issues, The Red Barn restaurant in Augusta has partnered with Ampion Renewable Energy, a community solar company founded in Bar Harbor that offers local clean energy subscriptions that help rate payers save money on electricity. Through this partnership, The Red Barn and Ampion achieved valuable energy savings and collectively raised $3,000 for Meals on Wheels. For every new Community Solar subscriber who signed up through The Red Barn, Ampion donated $100 to Spectrum Generations, the Meals on Wheels program through the Central Maine Area Agency’s Resource Center on Aging and Disability.

On Wednesday, Laura Benedict, owner of the Red Barn, and Ted Rioux, Maine resident and Senior Sales Executive at Ampion, presented the donation to Spectrum Generations President and CEO Gerald Queally and the Augusta-based team.

Meals on Wheels is a program that provides nutritious meals for seniors and people with disabilities who cannot cook for themselves on a regular basis. Spectrum Generations has an incredibly dedicated team of volunteers and staff delivering all meals to homes in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset and Waldo counties, including several Cumberland County towns.

These Meals on Wheels recipients tend to be the same people who are most affected by rising energy costs. Ampion and The Red Barn realized they had the potential to help by raising funds for Spectrum Generations, a groundbreaking program for so many Mainers. To learn more about Spectrum Generations, visit Spektrumgenerationen.org/nutrition-services/meals-wheels.

Surette Real Estate is hiring a new agent

WATERVILLE – Lucas Wheeler is a new agent on the CENTURY 21 Surette Real Estate team.

He has extensive local knowledge, making him a personal expert when it comes to inquiring about nearby towns and things to do.

Kozak & Gayer welcomes new attorney

AUGUSTA — Kozak & Gayer, PA announced that Ragner E. Jaeger has joined its health law practice. Ragner graduated from Rutgers School of Law in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Ragner was Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Jersey and most recently Associate General Counsel and Compliance Officer for Penobscot Community Health Care.

He has extensive experience working on transactional and litigation matters related to healthcare and regulatory compliance, privacy, employment, contracts, grant funding, real estate and other healthcare law issues. Ragner will work with clients on a variety of matters including healthcare, corporate, compliance and administrative law.

Ragner is admitted to practice in Maine, New Jersey in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and in the Federal District Court of New Jersey. He is an active member of the Rutgers School of Law Alumni Board, the Hispanic Bar Association and the Boys & Girls Club of Bangor.

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