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Author Archives: Bluejeanfoodcritic

GG’s Restaurant – Mount Laurel, NJ

GG’s Restaurant – Mount Laurel, NJ

A hotel is not usually a place I envision when I go out to eat, but that is exactly where GG’s Restaurant sits. Sitting off of Route 73 near Coco Keys Water Resort and past a few industrial parks, the inside of GG’s could not be more different from their surroundings. GG’s was very warm and welcoming and on the fine dining spectrum of things. I came for lunch and decided to try their warm turkey, apple, and brie sandwich.


The sandwich consisted of sliced turkey breast, brie, and thin slices of crisp green apple served on multigrain bread with french fries. The fries were my arch-enemy double breaded fries which was very sad considering how high-end GG’s seems to want to be. A fresh-cut fry would have been a welcome sight for such a fancy sandwich. The sandwich was good, but not grand. The bread should have been grilled crisp as it was very soggy, the brie was almost non-existent, and it seemed the turkey was prepackaged deli meat style and not freshly cooked sliced turkey.

The odd part of GG’s was the service. The service I experienced was top-notch from stepping inside the doors until I left. I was so welcome and happy there with the staff, even if they were serving tv-dinners, you could still probably enjoy your time there with how I was treated. Whoever trained the wait staff and front of the house should be commended. They provided service some in the hospitality industry could only dream of. Only if the kitchen could get the same memo for lunch. GG’s intrigues me. With such an enjoyable time I had there not counting the food, I think they are making changes and think there is hope on the horizon for the food. I could be wrong, but I would not rule out giving the kitchen one last try in the future.


Two stars out of Five


Five Stars out of Five

Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival

Press Release:


Food Truck Festival Comes to South Jersey for First Time

Food trucks are coming to the shore! South Jersey is going to host its first ever food truck festival. The Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival will take place from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, on the grounds of Kix McNutley’s, 63rd and Landis Ave. The festival has already announced a half dozen food trucks with more to come.

The confirmed food trucks so far include Sum Pig, El Lechon De Negro, Surf and Turf, Pura Vida Dogs, Zinna’s Bistro, and On a Roll Street Food.

“The selection and quality of the food from some of the food truck vendors is among the best in the area,” said Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival organizer Denis Brown. “We have trucks that have been recognized in Philadelphia and North Jersey, plus some great local favorites.”

The Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival will bring food trucks, crafters, live music, and family fun together.  It fits in perfectly to Sea Isle City’s “Shoulder Season,” working its way in between such events like the Fall Family Festival, Irish Weekend, Italian Festival, Harborfest, and Octoberfest.

The Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival will open with a Friday night (Sept. 26) preview. Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 27-28) will see the festival fully open. The preview night will feature some of the food trucks and crafters opening.

“Fall is such a great time at the Jersey Shore,” Brown said. “Local events like this one are family friendly and fun. We wanted to create an event that was a little different from everything else at the shore and still be the kind of event anyone can enjoy.”

The festival will be free to the public to attend. More information can be found at CLICK HERE

2014 Forecast for New Jersey Peaches


Press Release:


nutritious…delicious…the best!

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council

Peach Forecast:



Glassboro, NJ (June 19, 2014)–New Jersey’s peach crop looks vigorous this year and is expected to yield about 30,000-35,000 tons of fruit from the state’s 5,500 acres of trees.  “Our peach buds survived a brutal winter, a cool and frosty spring, and are still loaded with fruit,” says Jerry Frecon, Rutgers professor emeritus of fruit science, currently a consultant to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, and editor of the annual New Jersey Peach Buyers Guide for wholesalers and retailers.

Good news for growers and lovers of Jersey-grown peaches: Some of the best growers of the year’s peach crop are excited about the quality and size of their crops. This summer’s favorite fruit is coming to market about ten days later than usual, around the second week in July, according to growers polled including Santo John Maccherone, chair of the PPC and owner of Circle M Farms in Salem, NJ.


Maccherone, who harvests 50,000 to 59,000 ½ bushels at his Circle M Farms in Salem, and Tom Holtzhauser, who harvests 20,000-29,000 ½ bushels on Holtzhauser Farms in Mullica Hill. Both expect “beautiful, flavorful crops.”


Dr Lewis DeEugenio, Summit City Farms owner and president of the Jersey Fruit Marketing Cooperative in Glassboro, says, “We expect an abundant crop of tree fruit this summer. Our farm was started by my grandfather in 1922 with 7.5 acres at the site of our home farm.  We have expanded to 500 acres of predominantly peach, nectarine, apples, corn and pumpkins.  We recently opened a Farm Winery with emphasis on fruit wines – especially peach and nectarine. The coldest winter in many, many years thinned the fruit on trees such that excellent size and quality should be available beginning in early July.  Rain and moderate temperatures in May resulted in very good growing conditions.  By mid-July, good quantities of Sentry and other commercially grown varieties will be available.  The season will then be continuous and abundant through mid-September.  Nectarines will begin in later July and be available through early September.”

Al Caggiano Jr. , who harvests more than 250,000 ½ bushels at Sunny Slope Orchards in Bridgeton, reports that he expects a full crop ready for sale the second week in July and will be picking peaches well into mid-September.


John Hurff, who grows and markets a wide variety of peaches and nectarines at Wm. Schober  Sons Orchards in Monroeville, expects to have a full crop for sale the second weekend of July.  “The peaches look great,” he says.  “And we have them for sale through September 10th or 12th.  It’s funny, but if the weather stays hot, people want peaches through September and into October.”


In Hunterdon County, John Melick harvests 10,000 to 19,000 ½ bushels for his markets and local retailers. He expects to have his early season fruit in the markets by the second week of July, with his full harvest in markets in August.  “Our crop is running about two-three weeks late this year, due to the late bloom,” he says.  “But that means the peaches will be available later than usual—through September, maybe into October if the weather stays warm.”  He concurs with Hurff that when the weather stays warm, their customers want peaches.


Frecon is excited about the many new varieties growers now have in production from the Rutgers fruit breeding program. “These new varieties extend the season and give us higher quality and more intensely flavored peaches both earlier and later during the growing season.”  He still feels the best flavored peaches are in August, “the official New Jersey Peach Month.”


The Peach Promotion Council stresses that New Jersey’s more than 100 varieties ripen at different times through the summer, starting with white-fleshed and yellow cling peaches and nectarines, and proceeding with yellow-fleshed, flat (or doughnut peaches) and nectarines throughout August and into September.


The New Jersey Peach Promotional Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State through the orderly marketing and promotion of NJ peaches.

For further information, or to request a copy of the 72-page Buyers Guide, visit the website, visit us or contact the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council information office

El Sitio Grill & Cafe – Collingswood, NJ

El Sitio Grill & Cafe – Collingswood, NJ

Strolling down Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, New Jersey your eyes
and nose are in for a treat. This street has a little bit of
everything for everyone and since I had never eaten at El Sitio Grill & Cafe
(ES) before I decided to give them a try for lunch. The inside is
very relaxing with a nice ambiance and mood about the place and
they have a large, if not the largest outdoor seating space of any
of Collingswood’s restaurants. ES starts your experience off with a
dish of Olive Oil sauteed mushrooms and herbs and fresh bread.

el sitio olive oil

I could have eaten ten dishes of this stuff, it was that good. It
was a nice change of pace from the normal and a great beginning.
My appetizer would be Argentinean Style Empanadas.

el sitio empanada

My Argentinean Style Empanadas consisted of wheat flour empanadas
stuffed with seasonings, fresh vegetables, herbs, chicken, and
beef. I went with the chicken and beef all in one since I could
not decide on which version I wanted more and my server
recommended to put them all in one. Well kudos to my well-informed
server, because they were fantastic this way and I highly suggest
any meal at ES to start out with them. My lunch entrée would be
the El Sitio Burger.

el sitio burger

The El Sitio Burger was beef, cheese, breaded onions, and homemade
BBQ Sauce. I will start out with the good. The fresh breaded
onions were fantastic and some of the best I have had in a long
time and the homemade bbq sauce was great. It gave the entire
burger a very nice distinct flavor unlike other burgers I have
had. It was not overpowering, yet it was strong enough to let you
know it was someone special and out of the ordinary. Now sadly on
to the bad. The roll was stale and just fell apart with each bite.
I requested my burger to be done medium, and it came out VERY well
done. It was served with provolone cheese. Not to say that I do
not enjoy a burger with provolone cheese, but this was not the
burger to be putting it on. It just put the flavor profile all out
of whack. Last but not least, the burger was served with the
dreaded double breaded french fry. Please I beg of all restaurants
to throw them in the trash, and either make your own or buy a
higher grade of french fry.

ES had their ups and downs, but I really did enjoy their ups
allowing me to slightly overlook their downs. The service was very
pleasant and efficient, prices were affordable, and they are
providing dishes not seen everywhere done well for the most part.
If they can keep an eye on the freshness of their rolls, be a
little more aware of overcooking their burgers, not putting
provolone cheese on them, and get a fresh french fry coming out of
the kitchen, ES has the potential to go from a place people are
talking about them for having dishes that are a little different then the
norm, to start talking about them having dishes you have to see and eat
to believe because of how good they are.

Three out of Five Stars

The Crab House at Two Mile Landing – Wildwood Crest, NJ

The Crab House at Two Mile Landing – Wildwood Crest, NJ

Sitting far back off a tiny winding road that leaves Wildwood Crest and heads toward Cape May is The Crab House at Two Mile Landing and Marina (CH). I arrived during lunch time and was welcomed warmly. CH is a beautiful building with a picnic tables and a large bar as soon as you walk in and a gigantic dining room area as well as an even larger deck and bar in the rear of the place. They are setup nicely for the crowds that pack this place during the peak shore season and the views of the bay from CH are gorgeous and I can only imagine siting out and enjoying a nice sunset from CH. I came to eat for a quick off-season lunch and my order of the day would be a clam basket since my first choice of soft shell crabs and second choice of blue claws were not available.

crab house

The menu stated the fried clams strips were colossal Jersey clams. That may true, but with the amount of breading and the strips being so overcooked, all I tasted was beyond crispy fried bread to go along with the dreaded breaded French fries. It was such a disappointed with the superb service and nice atmosphere CH has going for itself. I came for crabs, but sadly only walked away crabby. I have a feeling if CH does crabs right, it may be one of the best places to go to, but with me not able to experience them I can only judge them with what I had. Even though my meal was not great, I enjoyed my time enough at CH to give them another try when I am around the area again, but next time I will call in advance to see if the crabs are available before I go.


One and three-fouths out of Five Stars

Durand Foundation’s First Annual Gourmet on the Runway Food Truck Fete

Durand Foundation’s First Annual Gourmet on the Runway Food Truck Fete


What could be better than a night out on the town eating gourmet food truck samplings? By helping a great cause while doing it. Well the Durand Foundation put on one delicious fundraiser for the Durand Academy (more info on them CLICK HERE) who exists so that individuals with special needs can lead fuller, more independent lives.

eddie w

Not only was the food being offered by the many different food trucks top-notch, the entertainment provided by the “Rockin’ Road Grill” truck had the crowd ecstatic and dancing the night away. The “Rockin’ Road Grill” was a hybrid of music and food presented by former lead guitarist of the 80’s band “A Flock of Seagulls” Eddie Berner and his band provided the music portion and Food Network’s “Extreme Chef” television show winner and celebrity Chef Terry French manned the grills of the truck to provide the hungry crowd with three different gourmet offerings to choose from.

rockin w

As if that was not enough, a cigar station was available and open-bar for the entire evening. Everyone at the event just raved about how fantastic it was and what an amazing job the Durand Foundation did, especially since it was the first time ever doing an event such as this. With what they were able to do with their first one, I certainly cannot wait until next year as I know it will only be bigger and better from here on out. A few pictures of some of the other trucks below.

mac w

surf w

Cooper River Distillers – Petty’s Island Rum – Camden, New Jersey

Join the “Around Town” expert William Knowles check out South Jersey’s newest distillery and Art Crawl.

Press Release:

Come to Camden for 3rd Thursday!

You may or may not know that there’s an Art Crawl in downtown Camden on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Well there certainly is, and this month’s 3rd ThursdayArt Crawl is a very special one for us here at Cooper River Distillers! On Thursday, June 19th we’re having a coming out party for our first few batches of hand-crafted spirits and you’re invited!

We’ll be giving tours of the distillery, answering all your burning questions about booze, and offering free samples. This will also be your chance to finally try cocktails made with our spirits and to take home a bottle of Petty’s Island Rum!

The Details:

  • When: Thursday, June 19th, 2014 – 4:00pm to 8:30pm
  • What:  Tours at 4pm5pm6pm7pm, and 8pm(tour includes free samples). We’ll also have cocktails, bottled spirits, and souvenirs for sale.
  • Where: Cooper River Distillers – 34 N. 4th St., Camden, NJ – We’re located in the old Cooperson’s Garage building.
  • Getting Here: There is plenty of metered street parking within walking distance of the distillery and all the other 3rd Thursdayvenues, and the City Hall PATCO stop is only one block from the distillery!
  • Random Note: If you plan on buying anything please bring plastic – we strongly prefer credit/debit instead of cash.
  • Random Note 2: Space and staff in the distillery are limited so if there’s a big turnout we may not be able to get everyone in at once – if there’s a line when you show up, visit some of the other 3rd Thursday venues to kill time and come back!

20th Annual Taste of South Jersey at Adventure Aquarium – Presented by Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce

20th Annual Taste of South Jersey – Presented by Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce

When you think of any Chamber of Commerce sponsoring an event, you know you will be in for mixing, mingling, and marketed to by businesses seeking to expose their services to a diverse audience. The 20th Annual Taste of South Jersey held at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey was no different, and the three M’s of mixing, mingling, and marketing I have come to expect, but the ‘M’ that I was surprised not to see were the” M’M! M’M! Good!” M’s made famous by Campbells Soup especially since this event was held directly in their headquarters backyard and was attended by prominent minded business foodies who are bound to talk about the great food served. That made me scratch my head as I continue to read articles about Campbells Soup losing market share and wanting to expose the younger generation their old and newer releases of food out on the market as their competitors are gaining ground. Their loss is others gain to highlight their food offerings and services, and enough of me yacking about who was not there, let us talk about who was.

First and foremost the Adventure Aquarium was a highlight all of its own on a gorgeous night on the beautiful Camden Waterfront to have an event at one of the nicest aquariums around and be able to see some of their world-class exhibits while nibbling on an array of scrumptious foods. If you have never been to the Adventure Aquarium, you truly have to go and check it out for yourself and make a day of it.

Now time to talk about the food. The variety of food from bbq ribs, polenta budino, salt and pepper tiger shrimp, gourmet pound cakes, and hot corned beef sandwiches are just a few of the highlights I had and the event really covered the foodie spectrum from A to Z. (some pictures are at the bottom of the article) I was really impressed with the variety of exhibitors present, organization of the event, setup, and hospitality shown at every station. This was my first time covering this event and I am looking forward to next year as I am sure it is only going to get better.

If you would like more information on the Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce and see what other events they have planned CLICK HERE

Here is complete list of exhibitors for 20th Annual Taste of South Jersey:

Lourdes Health System, Miller’s Mt. Laurel Ale House, Distrito, Benihana, Terra Nova at Wyndam Hotel, F&M Restaurant & Catering, Red Hot & Blue, Kitchen 519, The Kibitz Room – Reuben on Rye, Embers at the Crowne Plaza, Bahama Breeze, Leave the Details Too Me, Red Lobster, Classic Cake, Melitta Coffee, Dibartolo Bakery, Cocktails on Call, Victorian Savories Bakery, George’s Gourmet Pound Cakes, Sift Bake Shop, Seasons 52, Giambri’s Quality Sweets, Osteria






The 6th Annual International Great Beer Expo: Philadelphia and The Whirly Pig

The 6th Annual International Great Beer Expo: Philadelphia and The Whirly Pig

navy yard

navy yard beer sign

When you spot Gary Monterosso walking the Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, you know you are in for a serious beer event. Gary is the unofficial “King of all things Beer in and around Philadelphia” in my book. He is a writer for several publications including the Prince of Prime Rib Ed Hitzel’s magazines, a radio and television personality, and hosts and provides tasting seminars. You also know you are in for some serious good eats from some of the area’s best food trucks when The Whirly Pig and Prime Stache show up at your event, two out of the three finalist for best Philadelphia Food truck from Philadelphia Magazine and nominees for Vendy Awards the food truck version of the Academy Awards.

navy yard food truck row

navy yard beer showing

The day started out with some of the brewers from Deschutes Brewery, Vicaris, Evil Genius, and Boaks giving presentations of what is new in the industry and what their plans are currently and in the future. Deschutes Brewery had the largest setup, serving station, and presentation with them boasting to have the beer “Black Butte Porter” that started the craft revolution and a delightful story for their “Twilight Summer Ale” and what twilight means to them. Vicaris Beer from Brewery Dilewyns Dendermonde in Belgium and representative Anne Catherine Dilewyns was next with a captivating personal story of how her family brewery came about, is one of only a few brewers who do not filter, centrifuge, or pasteurize their brews, and was lucky enough to have the claim to fame with their Philly Tripel Belgian Ale to be selected as the Official Beer for Philadelphia Beer Week. She was charismatic and you could tell that being a brewer is not only a passion for her; it truly is in the blood. Following her was Evil Genius Brewery hailing from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and is a rising star in the craft beer world with major retail chains picking up their products and with all their beers being limited releases and batches, if you find something from them that you like you better buy it while you can and squirrel it away for a rainy day cause you will not see it again. They always want the demand higher than the supply. Last but not least was Boaks Brewery. Their brewmaster Brian Boaks started things out with a Mr. Beer Kit and was instantly hooked on making his own beer. He is proud to consider his organization “Reasonably Rebellious” and only makes beer that he likes. He realizes that this will cause some people not to like his beer, but he feels only making beer that he likes makes it so he can truly promote his product with a truthful passion that others do not have always. After the very informative session and many beers down the hatch, it was the perfect way to get things started and seeing pretzel necklaces adorned event patrons, I knew this was going to be a good time.

navy yard necklace

Walking around the grounds of the Expo it was obvious that Starfish Junction Productions really put on one of the best beer events I have been to in quite some time and the beautiful weather certainly did not hurt. The lines moved smoothly, security was present but not overbearing, and the event staff was accommodating for anything that was needed. I tried as many beers as I reasonable could as I had plans following the event, and then my stomach called out to me. I figured to get a bite to eat before I departed at the Whirly Pig Food Truck and ordered  the duck roast sandwich and the whirly cheesesteak.

navy yard whirly pig

The duck roast sandwich consisted of duck confit in pork fat, gala apple slaw, bacon, onion brioche, and a house pickle. Every part of the sandwich was delicious, but the bacon really stood out and I could have used at least one more slice. The meat was tender and moist while the onion brioche held up well. I enjoyed it, but I liked the whirly cheesesteak better which was roast pork, sautéed onions, and provolone cheese on a pretzel long roll. The onions were absolute perfection and they provided plenty of them, the cheese was just the right amount, the pretzel roll complimented everything harmoniously and the pork was just downright tasty. My only complaint was that they were a little light on the serving size of the pork. It filled less than half of the long roll. If they are doing portion control, they really should switch it to a round roll instead, otherwise they need to be a little more generous. I can see why they are up for as many awards as they are as they are one of the better food trucks around, and they are out and about spreading the gospel of tasty pork as talking with them they will be at the 1st Durand Academy Gourmet Truck Fete this upcoming Friday at the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey.

navy yard duck

navy yard cheesesteak

I had a great time from start to finish at the 6th Annual International Great Beer Expo with amazing beers from many different brewers and a nice meal from The Whirly Pig to end the day. This was my first time to this event and I am already itching for next year to do it all again.

Overall for the Whirly Pig

Four out of Five Stars

Overall for 6th Annual International Great Beer Expo

Five out of Five Stars

Emile Henry Warehouse Open to the Public

Press Release:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – Once a year Emile Henry opens its national distribution center to the public, giving guests
the opportunity to purchase premium cookware at up to 80% off retail pricing just in time for the holidays. Located in
New Castle, DE, this special occasion will take place on Thursday, November 6, 2014, allowing an exclusive crowd first
access to the best deals on the premium European kitchenware, along with other top brands (Duralex, Rosle, Mauivel and
Lékué).Some of the available products include the Lékué Citrus Sprayer (as seen in the April 2014 Oprah Magazine), the
Lékué Surprise Cake Kit (recently featured in Good Housekeeping), and the ever popular Mauviel copper cookware.
Ticket sales and a portion of the sale proceeds benefits Meals On Wheels Delaware.

“The annual Stock up for Seniors event is one of our favorite programs for the year. It gives us the opportunity to
introduce our products at amazing prices and at the same time help the Delaware Chapter of Meals on Wheels,” said Tara
Steffen, marketing manager for the Duralex, Emile Henry, Rosle, Mauviel and Lékué. “Participants get to equip their
kitchens with premium European products and we have fun running this now famous event.”

After a successful “Stock Up For Seniors” fundraiser last fall, Emile Henry donated $5,000 to Meals On Wheels Delaware
in support of feeding homebound seniors throughout the state. “Emile Henry has been a huge supporter of Meals On
Wheels Delaware for years. Their generous support year after year allows us to ensure thousands of seniors throughout the
state can rely on a hot meal each day without the fear of a waiting list,” said Mari Considine, Executive Director of Meals
On Wheels Delaware. “Stock Up For Seniors is such a fun event right before the holidays—our guests love being able to
shop for great deals while knowing they are also helping elderly neighbors in our community.”

VIP guests will enjoy chef demonstrations by Chef Jay Caputo of Jay Caputo Restaurant Group and Chef Robbie
Jester of 16 Mile Taphouse, while getting first access to the weekend’s deals from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Tickets for the VIP
shopping hour are $100 each and go on sale (online only) August 1st
at 10am. Mark your calendar, as VIP tickets typically
sell out in minutes each year.

From 6:30 – 9:00 pm general admission ticket holders will be able to shop the Emile Henry Warehouse for great deals on
premium cookware brands including Rösle, Duralex, Mauviel 1830, Lékué and many more. General admission tickets go
on sale August 5th
for $25 online and will be sold at the door for $30.

For more information or to buy your tickets, visit

Lékué 10 Minute Recipes: Mushroom Pizzas

• 8 baby bella mushrooms
• 4 tbsp canned, crushed tomatoes
• Grated mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 tsp sugar
• Oregano
• Salt
• Pepper

1. Wash the top of the mushrooms with a damp towel
and remove the stems. Place them on top of the tray in
the Lékué Steam Case. Take care not to rinse the
mushrooms completely as mushrooms are very spongy
and absorb water immensely. They can become soggy
and texturally unpleasing.
2. In a small bowl mix the crushed tomatoes, sugar, a
pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. The little bit of
sugar removes the acidic, bitter taste from the tomatoes.
Fill the mushrooms with the tomato mixture and sprinkle
dried oregano on top. Lastly, put a pinch of mozzarella
on top of each mushroom.
3. Close the case, place in the microwave and cook for 3
minutes at 800 watts.
4. Remove the case, open the lids and wait for the
mushrooms to cool down a bit. Be careful, they will be
very hot. Once slightly cooled, enjoy!

About Meals On Wheels
The mission of Meals On Wheels Delaware is to ensure, through the provision of financial and human resources, that
every eligible senior in the State of Delaware receives a hot, nutritious meal in their home. Meals On Wheels Delaware is
a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, a public/private partnership between the federal government, the State of Delaware, five
meal-providing agencies and thousands of volunteers from corporations, civic, religious and community groups. Together,
the program provides and delivers meals every day to over 4,000 homebound seniors. In fact, last year over 710,000 meals
were served throughout the state. Meals On Wheels Delaware strengthens the partnership by providing additional
financial and volunteer resources to the agency providers to ensure that no senior in Delaware is on a waiting list for a hot
meal delivered to their home. Meals On Wheels Delaware provides more than a meal…it also provides a gift of health,
independence and companionship to homebound seniors in Delaware.


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