Downeast Table of Plenty – Come One, Come All

Come Sunday in Cherryfield, the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Weald Bethel Community Center is alive with area residents conversing and enjoying together the afternoon meal served buffet-style. Hosts from the Downeast community take turns preparing and serving the weekly dinner. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTOS BY JOHANNA S. BILLINGS

 

ellsworthamerican.com
Come one, come all
October 18, 2019 by Johanna S. Billings on Arts & living, Lifestyle

CHERRYFIELD — On Sunday afternoons, the Weald Bethel Community Center has the feel of an old-fashioned family dinner.

People gather in the Maine Seacoast Mission’s community center off Route 1 to socialize, taking in the aromas coming from the kitchen. Some sit on upholstered furniture in a setting that resembles a cozy living room. Others gather around one of the round tables where they will eat. Many stand and chat.

In a large kitchen around the corner from the common area, cooks are busy preparing the meal, whose menu is not set ahead of time. No disposable dishes or utensils are used here — only everyday china and real flatware. After the Sunday buffet-style dinner, the dishes are done by hand.

The meal is a community effort known as Down East Table of Plenty, a weekly event, designed to feed both the body and the soul. There is no charge.

“It’s not a soup kitchen,” said Bonnie Johnson of Cherryfield, who came up with the idea for the community meal. “Need is as much about emotions as it is about food.”

The meal has been served every week without fail for nearly nine years.

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