Skip to main content

This is not a political action diary, but it is a social justice action diary. Kossack aravir brought to my attention this morning the plight of a soup kitchen in Waterville that may have to close its doors as early as September 1st due to lack of funding. The Morning Sentinel's article can be read in full here.

The Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen opened on September 14th, 1980 and has been in continuous operation ever since. According to the Morning Sentinel

Open Monday through Friday, the soup kitchen has 42 volunteers who cooked and served 47,697 free meals to patrons in 2011.
The soup kitchen is located in the basement of the Sacred Heart parish, but is operated independently of the parish and is dependent upon cash and in-kind donations in order to operate:
"We're caught in the recession," he said. "My budget was $25,000 for 2011. I spent $28,000 and I took in $22,000 in donations. I put in $3,800 of my own money, but I can't put any more in." (emphasis mine)

Ten years ago, the kitchen had $18,000 in its checking account and organizers didn't have to worry about a thing, he said.

But companies that donated items such as coffee, sliced beef, hamburger and regular money have stopped doing so as businesses changed hands and developed their own financial worries.

"Older folks who were retired gave us checks for $5 to $25 out of their pension and Social Security checks," he said. "They'd send it in every month. Some of those people have passed away or are watching their own pocketbooks. They're having a hard time meeting their own budgets."

It is estimated that the soup kitchen feeds between 75 and 120 people every day. Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen has its social justice values in the right place, too feeding those in need without judgment:
"Some people are homeless, some are just down and out, some are transients going through and they're told to come here for a hearty meal, some just play the game, but we don't care," he said. "Most of them are going to hurt without this kitchen because this is their only meal for the day."
I spoke on the telephone with the soup kitchen's director Dick Willette this morning. Mr. Willette was able to confirm that the charity is still open and still accepting donations. He expressed his gratitude for anything we can do to help keep the soup kitchen in operation as Maine prepares for one of its legendary bone-chilling winters. Waterville, like many of the former manufacturing towns in Maine, has suffered greatly from a lack of good jobs, a depressed economy, and homelessness. Many elderly who have housing but high winter heating costs depend upon organizations like Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen to make ends meet--especially in the winter months.

Let's show the people of Waterville, Maine, what Daily Kos members can do when there is a call to action. Let's raise 1,000 dollars to help keep this 32 year old soup kitchen in operation this winter. Let's get behind Mr. Willette and his volunteers and stand for social justice and compassion. Let's feed some hungry people.

Donations may be sent by check or money order to:

Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen
70 Pleasant St.
Waterville, ME 04901

The checks should be marked "Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen"

NOTE: Mr. Willette told me that there is no email address or PayPal.

If you donate, please put "Daily Kos" in the memo line of your check so I can report back to you what we have raised!

Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM PT: UPDATE: According to the Portland Press Herald enough money has been raised to keep the soup kitchen open until January. Donations are still needed however, and hopefully we can get some web presence for the soup kitchen and a paypal account started for them. Thanks to all who donated and sent well-wishes. Mr. Willette, his volunteers and clients must be very relieved at the outpouring of support.

Originally posted to commonmass on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks, Community Fundraisers, and Income Inequality Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site