The Maine Dish
Humble Pie: Working in a soup kitchen during Maine Restaurant Week.
“Hunger of choice is a painful luxury; hunger of necessity is terrifying torture.”
-Mike Mullin, Ashfall
Where should we eat this time? What’s the best value for our buck? How’s their selection of South African wines? Should I choose the chocolate torte or the pie? These are questions that have been milling around in my head during Maine Restaurant Week, and I’m sure countless others have been vexed with the same concerns.
Well, today, I helped prepare a hot meal for the needy residents of Winthrop. We prepared food for dozens of residents, some of whom wouldn’t eat a home cooked meal at all were it not for the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen. Five days a week, volunteers prepare wholesome and delicious meals for anyone who needs it. Anyone who can’t get to the church hall to eat gets their meal delivered to their door by one of us. Daily, if need be.
Families of six. Kids living in hotel rooms. Seniors who are alone save for the communal meal they take each day. They all benefit. And we benefit too, knowing we’re taking good care of people whose right to good nutrition shouldn’t be trumped by the circumstances of their lives.
Thousands of Mainers are food insecure. That doesn’t mean you should feel guilty for enjoying dinner out with friends. But I hope that as you map out the rest of your restaurant week itinerary, you’ll take a moment to thank a feeding program volunteer. Perhaps you might donate your time, your money, or your garden or pantry surplus. Sometimes a meal nourishes us most when accompanied by a serving of reflection and appreciation.