WATERVILLE — The Waterville Area Soup Kitchen plans to give out free meals “to go” two days a week at four locations starting Nov. 16  as it continues to plan for a permanent home and keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially, the meals will include a sandwich and a cold side item, but in the coming weeks, there will be hot dishes including soups, stews, tenders, and macaroni and cheese.

The to-go meals may be picked up at 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Veterans Memorial Park on Park Street and Head of Falls off Front Street, and between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. at Green Street Park playground and the North End playground on Drummond Avenue.

Aline Poulin is executive director of the soup kitchen which was established recently and includes some volunteers of the former Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen on Pleasant Street which closed earlier this year.

Poulin said the new organization is able to provide and disperse meals this winter thanks to the generosity of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Eustis Parkway, which is allowing the use of the church’s kitchen to prepare the meals.

Poulin said Friday in an email that the meals will be given out every week through the winter, or as long as donations continue coming in.

“If the need is greater than anticipated, we’ll even consider three days a week as long as the need is there and we have the funds to provide nutritious meals and our donors are generous,” Poulin said.

She said the soup kitchen is trying to notify people who previously ate lunch at the former Sacred Heart kitchen that the Waterville Area Soup Kitchen identified four locations where they are known to congregate and will give out meals at those places so they won’t have to walk very far.

“I hope that once word gets out, it will spread like fire amongst their networks,” Poulin said.

The new soup kitchen is trying to raise $5 million to establish a permanent building in Waterville. People may mail donations to Waterville Area Soup Kitchen, KSB/Waterville, 226 Main St., Waterville, ME 04901, with checks payable to “Waterville Area Soup Kitchen, donations for startup funds.”

Poulin said the soup kitchen’s 501(c)(3) status is pending and donations that have been made will be tax-deductible retroactive to September of this year for the end of the year’s tax filing season.

“We need volunteers as our original source of help are now advanced in years and can no longer offer their services,” she said. “Donations are welcomed and desperately needed.”

Meanwhile, the Evening Sandwich Program at the Universalist Unitarian Church on Silver Street that had closed temporarily during the pandemic started up again on a limited basis this week.

The Sandwich Program at 69 Silver St. is open from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, according to its director, Maili Bailey.

A table is set up outside the church during those times and each person can pick up a bag that includes two bologna and cheese and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as well as fruits and vegetables contributed by the Waterville Food Bank, she said.

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