By Carol McCracken
City Councilor Cheryl Leeman called upon the community to “share your heart” by helping to raise funds for the Wayside Soup Kitchen at a news conference at the city hall earlier today. Tomorrow, Friday, February 13, students from local high schools will be asking for your donation to feed those in need. It’s part of the 5th “annual share your heart campaign” which has become a tradition in Portland.
Jeff Estabrook, director of the Wayside Soup Kitchen, said that the demand for the Kitchen’s services has been intensely exacerbated by the recession we are in. “We are seeing a whole new segment of the population at the Kitchen. There are more families now. Where once there were two breadwinners in the family, now there are none. It’s something that none of us have seen in our lifetime. Any help you can give us is appreciated,” said Estabrook.
Students participating in the campaign will be wearing appropriate T-shirts and carrying collection mugs to make them identifiable to the public. Students will meet at the city hall at 7:30 a.m. and shortly thereafter span out over the city in this fund raising effort. Last year $3,000. was earned through this effort.
Councilor Leeman who is also Event Chair said: “This is one way in which the community can come together to help others who need our help.” She also thanked the corporate sponsors who make it possible. “Hannaford Brothers has been an especially important partner in this effort. We appreciate its essential support,” she added.
The Wayside Soup Kitchen is Maine’s largest soup kitchen. It’s been providing meals to the homeless, working poor, families and others for more than 17 years. It serves approximately two hundred and fifty people each evening at 252 Oxford Street. Please visit www.waysidesoupkitchen.org for more information.