WATERVILLE — The Universalist Unitarian Church of Waterville will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Evening Sandwich Program during the 10 a.m. Sunday service, Oct. 25.

The public is invited and a reception will follow in Averill Parlors at 11 a.m.

The ESP soup kitchen was started in 1990; less than 400 meals were served that first fall. The second year the total jumped to 7,824. In the third year, the number of meals served went to 22,155, according to a news release from the church.

From the fall of 1990 to May 31, 2015, the program served more than a half million meals. It is now customary to serve 200-300 meals per evening.

More than 2,000 individuals have volunteered to work in the program since 1990. Churches who have volunteered include the Church of Latter Day Saints, First Baptist Church of Waterville, Getchell Street Baptist Church, Pleasant Street Methodist Church, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ and the Winslow Baptist Church.

Volunteers also come from area high school groups and athletic teams. Rounding off the roster are volunteers from area colleges: Thomas and Kennebec Valley Community College, and notably Colby whose support has been from the very earliest days.

The following businesses and groups have regularly provided food and/or money to the program: Colby College Food Service, Dunkin Donuts, Good Shepard Food Bank, Hannaford’s, InterFaith Council, Joseph’s Market, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Mid State Machine, Mount St. Joseph, Postal Workers Collections, Shaws, Starbucks, WalMart, Waterville Food Bank, Winslow Credit Union, United States Department of Agriculture and the United Way, according to the release.

Donations to the program, as well as congratulatory cards and notes, will be gratefully received. These can be sent to the Universalist Unitarian Church, P.O. Box 2471, Waterville, ME 04903-0435, attention Sue Morrill.

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