Bath Area Kitchen Table plans March move

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BATH — After a quarter century at the First Baptist Church, the Bath Area Kitchen Table is moving to a new location next to its sister operation.

Formerly the Bath Area Soup Kitchen, the agency will serve its last meal at the Washington Street church Friday, Feb. 24, and then re-open at the former United Church of Christ building at 150 Congress Ave. on Monday, March 6.

The UCC building, which the New Meadows Childcare & Learning Center purchased two years ago, has also been home to the Bath Area Food Pantry for about 16 years. The two operations fall under the umbrella of the Bath Area Food Bank.

Visit bathfoodbank.org for more information.

The table will be open 11 a.m.-noon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Entry is not allowed before 10:45 a.m., to prevent any conflict with the day-care operation, food bank Executive Director Kimberly Gates said in an interview Feb. 2.

The opportunity to move to Congress Avenue “came out of the blue,” Gates explained. “We’ve wanted to have both entities under one roof for 20-plus years, but we were sure the only way that would happen was if we had our own building.”

She called the First Baptist Church “incredibly generous” for providing a longtime home for the soup kitchen. “The hardest part about this is leaving them,” Gates added. “It’s been a wonderful community experience.”

The decision to move was prompted by several factors, including a need for parking, having an easily accessible bathroom for the disabled, proximity to three low-income housing complexes – and saving money, since the operation can share food with the food pantry, Gates said.

The Congress Street site also sits along the Bath City Bus route, which has a stop less than 1,000 feet away, she added.

The kitchen at the new space will be about the same, although the dining area will be smaller. Typically, 35-50 people are fed a day, Gates said.

The organization is also is looking for volunteers to greet diners at the new location. Gates can be reached at kfgates@gwi.net.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The Bath Area Kitchen Table will soon join its sister operation, the Bath Area Food Pantry, at 150 Congress Ave. in Bath.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.