St Peter’s as Part of the Community
St. Peter’s Church strongly feels that part of its mission is to make our facility available to the wider mid-coast community, especially to non-profit organizations. Currently, several Alcoholics Anonymous groups, a Narcotics Anonymous group, an Overeaters Anonymous Group, and The Toy Library use our facility on a weekly basis. The Restorative Justice Project meets here monthly. Other groups and organizations such as bereavement groups use the facility for express periods of time. St. Peter’s parishioners also regularly contribute food to Area Interfaith Outreach, an organization that supplies food to those in need.
Loaves and Fishes
Loaves and Fishes is the weekend lunch program at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, served in the parish hall at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays. Meals are served at no cost to our guests. There is also a special dinner served Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We typically serve 25 or more people on a Saturday and up to 40 on a Sunday. The Easter and Christmas meals are prepared by members of the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue. The Thanksgiving meal is prepared by St. Peter’s and serves over 150 people.
The program began in the 1990s, when the people of Pratt Memorial United Methodist Church were looking for somewhere to relocate their own evening meal program due to the sale of their building on Union Street to the Farnsworth Art Museum. About the same time some people at St. Peter's had decided to serve lunch from our building and began serving coffee and sandwiches from the trunk of a car in the parking lot, and pretty quickly the program was invited into the parish hall, and the Methodist and Episcopal programs merged together as a weekend effort.
Several other church and secular groups have taken part over the years, so that each group usually serves one meal a month.
Each team is independent, and has its own way of providing the necessary food. Some groups use dishes prepared beforehand by members of their churches, some raise their own funds, and some recruit local restaurants to provide what is necessary. Most cook their meals in St. Peter’s kitchen. From time to time, various local restaurants and stores have also provided certain kinds of supplies such as surplus bread and prepared sandwiches.
These various efforts to provide supplies have become more important in recent times. Until April 2012 the program was assisted each quarter by deliveries of food from the US Department of Agriculture through Penquis Community Action. This ended when it was decided to distribute less federal food through this system. The cost of overhead for the program, such as gas and electricity, are paid for by St. Peter’s which also provides two lunch teams.