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The Wayside Soup Kitchen is currently in its nineteenth year serving hot, nutritious, evening meals to the homeless and poor of Southern Maine.  Wayside is open from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., seven nights a week, 365 days a year and has never missed a meal in its history.  Meals are served at the Community Resource Center located at 252 Oxford Street in Portland.

The Wayside Soup Kitchen is comprised of 61 churches, civic groups, and businesses.  Wayside has over 1,800 volunteers and serves an average of 241 people each evening.  This past year Wayside provided 68,275 evening meals, 760 of those were to children.

Even though Wayside is a "soup kitchen", soup is not served for the evening meal.  People need something more substantial than a bowl of soup to get through the night.  Most of the meals consist of meat and potatoes or casseroles.  Wayside has been committed to keeping costs down and, in 2005, spent only $1.75 per meal including administrative costs.

Approximately 50% of the people that use Wayside are the working poor.  They live from paycheck to paycheck.  When they have an unexpected expense or when they are ill and can't work, they often have to make choices such as to either pay the rent or buy food.  If they don't pay the rent they could become homeless.  With the help of Wayside they can eat and pay their bills!  The other 50% of Wayside's consumers are comprised of the homeless and mentally and physically handicapped.

Wayside is just two blocks from Portland's only adult homeless shelter as well as the city's family homeless shelter.

Wayside works collaboratively with St. Luke's Soup Kitchen as we are all located in the Community Resource Center.