NORWAY – New Balance Athletic Shoe Factory and Outlet Store of Norway made a $3,011 donation to the Oxford Hills Area Association of Churches community lunch program recently.

The lunch program started its 14th year of operation on March 1. The program serves a full-course meal each Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Norway Universalist-Unitarian Church, 479 Main St., where the association rents space.

The program puts out between 150 and 200 meals each week. The lunch is available to anyone with a need for a meal or who wishes to eat with others. The meal is free; however a contribution box is available for anyone wishing to make a donation.

The Oxford Hills Area Association of Churches receives donations from local churches, organizations, businesses and residents to help keep the lunch program operating.

The group has also received a grant from the federal government for the past few years. Each year from Jan. 1 to April 30, the association joins with the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn to participate in a matching grant fund program.

The association raises a given amount, it is matched by the Good Shepherd program. About four times a year the association also receives a donation of food from the USDA surplus food program.

Most of the food is purchased from the local Hannaford store and Good Shepherd Food-Bank. Hannaford also donates outdated bakery items, fruits and vegetables each week. Local businesses and individuals donate turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and people donate fresh vegetables from their gardens during the summer.

The lunch is prepared and served by volunteers. The cooks are Janice Morton, Lisa Jones, Lilo Knudson, Jodelle Card and Mary Lou Onofrio, with help from a list of about 50 people who have volunteered to help out when needed.

People from Norway, South Paris, West Paris, Oxford, Greenwood, Waterford, Harrison, Otisfield, Buckfield and Sumner attend the lunch.


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