Augusta Soup Kitchen Gets A Facelift 

The local soup kitchen in Augusta just got a major facelift. Regular visitors to the Bread of Life Ministries may not recognize the place. “Prior to the renovations we had pretty much white industrial lighting in here. Now we have art lighting, which subdues the atmosphere a little bit,” said Executive Director Dean Lachance. “We have brand new flooring instead of the institutional tiles. The wood flooring is kind of a welcoming space.”There’s also new air conditioning and new artwork donated by local artists. All of this is the work of the Kennebec Leadership Institute, a Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce program, staffed by about 25 local professionals who volunteered their time as part of the downtown Augusta revitalization project. “They just took it on and raised over $14,000 from different businesses and individuals which allowed them to do the lighting and the signs and the flooring and the air conditioning that came with it,” Lachance said.Patsy Tessier has worked here for the past 11 years and seen this place grow into what it is today, serving on average 36,000 meals per year. “It’s evolved,” Tessier said. “It was always quite pleasant, but it’s certainly got a lot more pleasant and homey feeling.”That homey feeling is what they strive for here, making it seem less like a traditional soup kitchen. “They get to sit down at a table, they get served a meal, they get asked what they want for 4 or 5 choices for a drink. Same with dessert. If we have food left over they’re welcome to take a meal home for dinner or for a home bound person that might be out sick.”The Bread of Life Ministries Soup Kitchen is located at 157 Water Street in Augusta.