ON BEHALF of the Board of Directors of the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, it brings me great pleasure to announce that we will recommence daily, sit-down service at St. Francis Xavier Parish Hall on Wednesday, January 18. Once again, a nutritious hot will be served each weekday at 11:30 am. Meals are free and all are welcome, no questions asked. We will continue to provide a prepared meal to-go at Annabessacook Farm, 192 Annabessacook Road in Winthrop, each Wednesday from 1:00pm – 6:00pm for those families who need a meal later in the afternoon or early evening.
None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of the parishioners of St. Francis Xavier. Late last year, the church took up a collection and raised $3,190 in addition to a $600 contribution from the Men’s Club. In addition, the late Margery Bellemare requested that contributions in her memory go to the Kitchen. Since her passing last December, we’ve received an additional $1,000 from her loved ones and friends. Such generosity will more than cover the rent and insurance and allows the Kitchen to use other contributions solely for food and future operating costs.
And what contributions we’ve received. Since the last update in October, we’ve received money from another 50 donors, bringing the total to 100. And so we give thanks to the Wayne Community Church, the Winthrop United Methodist Church, and the Winthrop Center Friends Church who took up collections for the cause; the Rotary Club of the Winthrop Area; the National Association for Retired Federal Employees Chapter 248 in Jefferson, Maine; Talk About Tennis in California; Florence K8 Teacher’s Fund in Florence, Arizona; and all the individuals and families in Maine and from around the nation who have been moved to help our community soup kitchen.
A special thank you goes to the Winthrop Food Pantry over on High Street, which has shared food resources with us whenever they have perishable produce that needs to be processed right away; Maranacook Community School for donating proceeds from their Make A Difference Week food drive, as well as the students who baked Christmas cookies for one of our meals; Kerry Wilkins-Deming and Laurie Lee who organized a holiday food drive for the Kitchen at a neighbor’s home in East Winthrop; and Ginger Roberts who organized a Winter Solstice food drive for the Kitchen at Birchwood Yoga Studio in Gardiner.
Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank the volunteers who have helped prepare the Wednesday meals at the farm: Steve, Kathy, Yvette, Kim, Joe, Faith, Riley, Kerry, Gail, Jane, Michael, Marcia, Ed, Stephen, Heath, and Donna. We’d also like to thank all the people who made themselves available to volunteer and all the people who cleaned out their cupboards and freezers and dropped off food for us to prepare for the people.
We have seen the need for food among members of our community grow. More younger families with small children have come to the farm for a meal on Wednesdays. Maine ranks first in New England for food insecurity and thirteenth in the nation, a nation where 1 in 4 children go to bed hungry every night. We would eventually like to expand our services beyond lunch to include some weekend meals and evening suppers and will look to collaborate with other agencies, organizations, and institutions in the Winthrop Lakes Region to meet the growing need.
We simply cannot allow anyone in our community to go hungry for a single day.
If you would like to contribute to the cause, please send a donation to Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, P.O. Box 472, Winthrop, ME 04364. Contact us at 377-FARM or check out our Facebook page
for menus, updates, and more information. Thank you and take care of your blessings.