Brattleboro chef cooks for a cause

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BRATTLEBORO — The delightful smell radiating onto Central Street is the food that Nicole Reisman cooks inside her home kitchen that will be delivered to 83 people around the community.

She started cooking for people privately before the COVID-19 outbreak, just doing it on a small scale. She put a notice in her Facebook group, Nicole's Community Kitchen, that if you are hungry, reach out.

"Then when COVID-19 hit, everyone was reaching out to me, and I am a private chef, this is the way I know to give to the community," Reisman said.

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Since the word has gotten out about her food, the number of meals has gone up and so have donations to help keep it going. At first, she was doing this out of her own pocket and because she was not working, it was not sustainable. Then the community stepped in to help.

"The community has started to support me, by donating food containers, vegetables from the Brattleboro Elks Club, and local farms have been donating which made a huge difference," said Reisman. "I got a grant from the United Way."

She started a GoFundMe effort and put it on her Facebook page and within two hours raised nearly $600. During this time of crisis, she said she had developed a lot of relationships with the people in the community.

"Just the sense of community and belonging here has been amazing," said Reisman. "I have lived all over the world and I never had a sense of community that I formed since COVID-19 here."

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