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Wayside Kitchen and Food Rescue

Cause Area

  • Community
  • Homeless & Housing
  • Hunger


252 Oxford StreetP.O. Box 1278Portland, ME 04104 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Mission of Wayside is to increase access to food for those in need in Southern Maine by providing a system for community based volunteers who serve prepared meals where such meals are needed, and by collaborating with other hunger agencies in developing an efficient network for the collection and equitable distribution of food. Wayside shall be guided in this mission by a deep compassion for our common humanity.


Wayside Kitchen:

The purpose of Wayside Kitchen is to provide nutritious meals to those in need.

  • Wayside SKitchen is Maine's largest soup kitchen; operating since 1986.
  • Lunch is served 5 days a week; dinner is served 7 nights; a meal has never been missed.
  • Approximately 70% of population is the working poor; the remaining 30% is homeless.
  • 134,005 meals served in 2008; cost of $2.15 per meal, a .38 cent increase over 2007.
  • Over 48,000 hours of Volunteer service was contributed in 2008, a value of $700,000.
  • 85 Faith Based and Civic Sector groups prepare & serve the meal each month.
  • 107 Youth Groups completed Service Learning with Wayside in 2008.
  • Over 2000 individuals contributed their volunteer efforts.

Wayside Food Rescue:

The purpose of Wayside Food Rescue is to collect and distribute food which might otherwise be wasted from the area grocers, wholesalers, restaurants and truckers.

  • Wayside Food Rescue has been sourcing and distributing food since 1999.
  • 40 plus pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and social service providers served in 2008.
  • Nearly 1 million pounds of donated/rescued food distributed free of charge in 2008.
  • Over 250,000 pounds of food distributed to the Soup Kitchen in 2008.
  • Cost of rescuing food: .23 cents per pound.
  • 85 Vendors donated perishable and non-perishable foods in 2008
  • Program serves as a single point of contact to Donors; smoothing tasks of distribution.


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