Marymay Goodrich prepares a stockpile of food Friday at The Proper Pig to benefit the Alfond Youth Center as Kelli Fales, left, takes the package to deliver to a customer. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The owners of a Waterville restaurant have launched a fundraiser to help feed local students and families while schools are shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bill Mitchell and Fred Ouellette, owners of The Proper Pig at 14 Common St. in Waterville, are serving menu items for $5 from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alfond Youth & Community Center’s new meal program.

The youth center’s meal program, launched early this week, serves meals to families who have been impacted by the coronavirus and has been feeding roughly 1,000 people per day.

The program costs $25,000 per week and relies on donations and funds from the Maine Summer Food Service Program, a statewide program that provides meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

Mitchell said he and Ouellette hatched the idea after they decided to close the restaurant for the time being.

“We’re discussing what we were going to do with the restaurant in light of the coronavirus,” Mitchell said during a phone call on Friday. “We decided to close the restaurant for dine in and take out, but we had quite a bit of food left in our inventory and we wanted to use it. So we came up with the idea to take that inventory, create a limited menu based on food we had in stock and put it out to the public … we’re discounting the menu to $5 per item and taking a portion of the proceeds and donating it.” 

Mitchell, who is also the owner of GHM Insurance Agency in Waterville, has also pledged that the company will match the proceeds raised by The Proper Pig up to $1,000.

Alex Scott gets deliveries in order with help from Becky LeClair at The Proper Pig in Waterville on Friday. The restaurant is raising money for the Alfond Youth & Community Center food program that launched this week to supplement meals being distributed in area school districts. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Mitchell said the community response to the fundraiser has been amazing.

“The community has just been overwhelmingly supportive,” Mitchell said. “Last night was the first night and we sold over 400 items … we actually had to shut down a little early because we ran out of food. But we’ve put together a new menu for tonight …”

Mitchell and Ouellette chose a local meal program as the recipient for donations because of the support they’ve received from the community since opening The Proper Pig.

“Fred and I are glad to give back to the community who have been so supportive to us since we opened three years ago,” Mitchell said. “This is a way to give back and help out during this difficult time.”

Orders can be placed to The Proper Pig over the phone at 616-3975.

The Alfond Youth & Community Center food program that began Tuesday was scheduled for two weeks, but the center will extend the program as long as the schools are closed, according to Crista Lavenson, director of advancement for the Alfond Center.

Volunteers and staff at the center in Waterville prepare 1,000 meals per day and distribute them at four locations from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On Thursdays and Fridays, center staff distribute backpacks filled with nonperishables that can feed up to three people over the weekend.

Meals can be picked up at the Alfond Center at 126 North St. in Waterville, Fort Halifax Park at U.S. Route 201 in Winslow, the Fabian Oil Inc. parking lot next to the Fabian Oil gas station at 20 Oak St. in Oakland and the upper athletic lot of Lawrence High School at 9 School St. in Fairfield.

No proof of need or residency is required to receive the meals,


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