DEAR SUN SPOTS: St. Mary’s Nutrition Center promotes community health through organizing, advocacy and education. We are asking readers to consider volunteering and to help with fulfilling our Wish List. If you have any of the following items to donate, please contact the Nutrition Center at 513-3848 or at [email protected]

We are in need of a good digital camera, office supplies, bikes and rain coats for our youth gardeners, garden tools and supplies, musical instruments to use in youth workshops and team-building, kitchen equipment, especially a Vitamix blender and a commercial food processor, a laptop and/or tablet for our Youth Media Crew, external hard drive, and table racks for all our Nutrition Center tables.

We could also use pots and pans, cooking utensils, and healthy food items, as well as diapers and formula for our food pantry clients, fire victims, victims of domestic abuse, and those newly released from jail.

Bigger wishes include commercial refrigerators and freezers, a truck or 12-14 passenger van, and garden fencing. We could also use help making and outfitting a root cellar, and making a teaching garden in our back lot! This includes a need for bringing in soil and lumber and adding fencing and access to water. Of course, monetary donations are always welcome, too!

The impact and work of the center depends on the support of dedicated volunteers of all ages. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer with us or participate in any of our programs.

One upcoming event that everyone at the Nutrition Center is really excited about is the 12th Annual Soirée on Oct. 13. We hope you will take part. Local chefs will prepare delicious foods made from local ingredients. Our youth program teens will be assisting with the cocktail hour which includes a tour of the center and gardens before the party moves to the Agora Grand Event Center for dinner and dessert.

All proceeds from the event support the work of the Nutrition Center, home to over a dozen urban community gardens, an emergency food pantry, cooking and nutrition programs for people of all ages, youth job training and leadership programs, the Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and the Good Food Bus. — Mia, no town

ANSWER: St. Mary’s Nutrition Center is such a gem! There is more great information on their website at www.stmarysmaine.com/nutrition-center. Located in the heart of downtown Lewiston at 208 Bates St., the center serves as a healthy food hub in the midst of the city’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods. The creation of a sustainable regional food system that involves those affected by inadequate food access and area farms is a beautiful thing.

You can also participate by joining a class or going to an event, including cooking-centered nutrition programs, gardener workshops as well as meaningful learning, service and work experiences for youth and college students. My hat is off to the wonderful work these dedicated people are doing! 

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