Our work on food security involves both hot meals and a food pantry, both of which receive generous support from local institutions and individuals, supporting involvement in food education and skill-building programs, and working with local institutions through our Food Rescue Program.
Meals are served seven days a week and we strive to provide a balanced, filling meal of vegetables, meats, starches and dairy, as well as drinks and dessert. These meals are often the only hot meal our patrons eat each day and many return for seconds. Anyone is welcome to eat at Trinity and hundreds of people, including parents and children, the elderly, disabled, veterans, and people struggling with mental illness and addiction, eat at Trinity each year. Hundreds of pounds of food are prepared each week as each meal serves 80-100 plates.
The food pantry is open weekly and each week 200-250 families receive food and diapers. The majority of the food available is fresh produce, as well as canned vegetables, fruits, and meats. The food comes from the USDA and from our partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which allows us to purchase discounted nonperishable foods and free fresh foods at their Auburn warehouse. We also benefit from food drives held by local congregations and schools, including Temple Shalom in Auburn and the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Church, and from collaborating with large events, such as the Dempsey Challenge, to accept excess food.
We support several of our clients in their involvement in local farming, gardening, and cooking programs. We assist participants in the New American Sustainable Agriculture Program with filling out paperwork required to secure farmland and vendors, and refer youth and parents to the gardening and youth crew programs run by Lots to Gardens.
Our Food Rescue Program brings together local food providers interested in donating leftover food to those in need. This food would otherwise be thrown away and instead goes to feed hungry families. The cafeterias of Bates College, Central Maine Medical Center, and St. Mary's D'Youville Pavilion donate excess food from their daily meals and provide the majority of food served in our soup kitchen. The Lewiston Hannaford Supermarket donates about-to-expire bakery items that we serve each day with morning coffee or as lunchtime dessert. Loaves of bread from Hannaford and the Country Kitchen factory are available for people to take home. Any food scraps from Trinity are collected and donated to local pig farmers, ensuring that the food does not go to waste.
Shots from our weekly food pantry
To illustrate the need for food in the Lewiston-Auburn area, we documented one Thursday at our food pantry. As usual, the emphasis is on distributing healthy, fresh foods. This week it offered lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, potatoes, onions, blueberries, apples, carrots, corn, tomatoes, avocadoes, pears, bananas, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, lemons, peanut butter and strawberry jam. Almost all of this food came from the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn. This week 190 families received bags of food.
Trinity Jubilee Center 247 Bates Street, Lewiston, ME 04240. (207) 782-5700 firstname.lastname@example.org