Progress Center Community Kitchen Logo COLOR

Why Should You Contribute to The Progress Center?

10400
To Feed the Hungry: Meals Served in 2014
90
To Support the Economy: Employees
192
To Support our Mission: Clients Served
35
To Continue our Cause: Years in Business

Our History

In 2008 we realized that the larger community needed our help. At town meetings, community fairs, and even in small gatherings at local stores and coffee shops, conversations were turning to the frightening increase of food insecurity in our area.

Knowing how few resources there are in the Oxford Hills region, we decided to take action. In October of 2008, we began serving free meals twice a month in rented space at a local church. Having gone from 40 meals that first week to maximum capacity of 125 meals in just a few months, we realized that even more needed to be done. So, we began looking for a way to serve more people and more meals per week. The task we undertook was not easy. Through generous donations from private foundations, a Community Development Block Grant, a grant from USDA, and local support, we raised over $240,000 to renovate space in one of building on Cottage Street in Norway. There, in one section of the buildings, we now house commercial cooking, food storage, and space for 200 patrons to dine.

September 29, 2011 marked the grand opening of The Oxford Hills Community Kitchen. Even though the weather did not cooperate, over 250 people attended the grand opening festivities.

John Williams, Executive Director of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, speaking at the Grand Opening of The Oxford Hills Community Kitchen. Back row - left to right: Marion Fringe, volunteer; Terry Ann Stevens, Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Development; Congressman Michael Michaud; Dorothy Coffin, Board of Directors - The Progress Center; Orman Whitcomb, USDA Rural Development.

John Williams, Executive Director of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, speaking at the Grand Opening of The Oxford Hills Community Kitchen. Back row – left to right: Marion Fringe, volunteer; Terry Ann Stevens, Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Development; Congressman Michael Michaud; Dorothy Coffin, Board of Directors – The Progress Center; Orman Whitcomb, USDA Rural Development.

 

Community Kitchen FAQ

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Do you serve meals?

Yes. The Community Kitchen provides meals to Oxford Hills residents every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. In addition, our Culinary Team in the Community Supports program provides a hot lunch for program participants every Friday. The Kitchen served over 10,000 meals in 2014.

Are the meals free?

Yes, the meals on Thursday evening are free. The Community Kitchen recognizes that for many individuals and families in Oxford Hills food insecurity is a real issue. The Community Kitchen is funded solely through the generous donations of businesses, foundations and individuals. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Community Kitchen simply contact Miranda at 207-743-8049 x 266 or visit our Donate page. 

Can I volunteer?

Yes! The Progress Center’s Community Kitchen relies on the kindness of volunteers to help continue the program. If you are interested in learning more about the kitchen or other volunteer opportunities please contact Celeste at celestewideman@progresscentermaine.org 

Who cooks the meals? 

Individuals with disabilities play a critical role in The Progress Center Community Kitchen; assisting with shopping, preparing, serving and cleaning during our lunches and dinners. Our primary function as an agency is to support individuals with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities of all ages.

Can I rent the kitchen to cook in?

No. Although we are a commercially licensed kitchen we do not rent the space to the public. However, we are working with another local non-profit to provide cooking classes. When more information becomes available we will update our Events page and as always stay up to date by following our Facebook page. 

Do you cater?

Yes. Please contact 207-743-8049 x 266 for details 

Can I bring my pet to dinners?

No. Pets of any kind are not permitted on TPC property for the safety of all of our patrons. However, service animals, as defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects the rights of people with disabilities to be accompanied by their service dogs in public places, are welcome. A Service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. 

Do you have further questions? Please contact The Progress Center at 207-743-8049

Your Support Is Needed! 

The Community Kitchen is for the community– In order to continue providing free meals we need support from the community. That is where you come in! No donation is too small to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Making a donation is now easier than ever! Just visit our Donate page or call us at 207-743-8049 x 266.


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