After 32 Years Waterville Soup Kitchen May Be Forced To Close
They’ve been serving food to folks in need in Waterville for more than 30 years, but now, due to financial problems, the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen may be forced to close its doors.Last year, 42 volunteers at the soup kitchen served up almost 47,967 meals to those less fortunate in the Waterville community. “This is the biggie. We’ve been here for 32 years,” said Sacred heart Soup Kitchen Director Dick Willette.Three years ago, Willette could see the soup kitchen’s finances tightening up. But he says there was once a time when the soup kitchen had no financial worries at all. “Like 10 years ago, we had $18,000 in our check book. We could buy what we needed. Hamburg, whatever we needed we could buy it.” But those days are gone. “Now it’s dropped down to last week where we had zero. And when you have zero, what can you buy with zero?”Volunteers like Real Cyr, who’s been here for 24 years, say if this place closes, it would be devastating for the community. “There’s gonna be a lot of people hurting,” Cyr said Tuesday. “Last week I had six families with kids that showed up for dinner.”Willette says it costs about $2000 a month to operate the soup kitchen. Last year the soup kitchen took in only $22,000 and they paid out $28,000 in expenses.Willette thought he would have to close the doors September 1, but recent donations have allowed him to push that back a few months. Some of the donations came from volunteers. “I received this morning from one of the volunteers $200. She said, ‘That’s money I had left over from my vacation and I want you to have it for the kitchen.’ So even they don’t want this kitchen to close. Nobody wants this kitchen to close.”The recent donations have bought them a few more months but after that things remain up in the air. Anyone who would like to help out is urged to call the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen at 649-9550.