Waterville Area Soup Kitchen serves 700 meals per week

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 3:59 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - The Waterville area soup kitchen serves 700 meals each week. It starts with a light breakfast at 8 am but most of the patrons stay for lunch that starts at 11:30 am.

For some, it is their only hot meal for the day.

“I see hungry people, I see lonely people, and right now, I see cold people,” Carla Caron, President of the organization said.

Less than a year ago, they were serving those people hot meals from the truck of their car until they secured this location close to the downtown area in Waterville where people can sit down and enjoy their meal. Carla Caron, the president of the soup kitchen says it is all about treating everyone with dignity.

“They come in and they feel comfortable, and they know that it is a safe place for them to be and free of judgment,” Caron said.

With the rising cost of food affecting many including the soup kitchen, Waterville state representative Bruce white and his wife Doreen says the last thing they should be worried about is the $1300 monthly rent for the location.

“Bruce and I both come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but we always had shelter and we always had food. we can’t say that about many of the people in this community. They don’t have shelter and they don’t have food,” said Doreen White.

They started a fundraiser that will cover the entire rent for 2023.

“When we decided to do this, we know that we have a great community and a lot of people that would want to support this, individuals and businesses so we just moved it forward,” said Bruce White.

They moved it forward by contributing the first month’s rent and have since secured a total of 6 months for 2023 including the recent donation from Waterville florist and formal wear. Now, they are calling on the community to help.

“I think that big thing that has impressed me is that people’s dignity is maintained,” said Doreen White.

Thanks to the effort of the volunteers from the cooks to the servers including students from Mount Merici Academy. Elliott Gerald is one of them.

“It doesn’t matter when they do or where they come from, we see all types of faces and we serve everybody,” Gerald said.

Caron said having the community step in will lessen the burden of keeping the kitchen open.

“It will make sure we have all the funds we need to purchase food and to make sure that we continue to be able to serve.” Caron said.