Photo courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge #2531 has presented $2,500 to two community organizations offering crucial assistance during the pandemic.

“A grant of $1,500 is designated for St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan and $1,000 are designated for the St. Peter’s Food Pantry in Bingham,” said Rodney Rolfe, grant coordinator for the lodge.

The funds are a result of local lodge members donating money to the Elks National Foundation.

“Once the National Foundation determines how much money is available for grants, the grant coordinator for the local lodge submits applications to the National Foundation for approval,” said Rolfe.

“We are very grateful to the Elks for this very generous donation in support of St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen and St. Peter’s Food Pantry,” said Nora Natale, office manager at Christ the King Parish of which the soup kitchen and food pantry are a part. “Both of these ministries play a vital role in combatting food insecurity for the residents of Skowhegan and Bingham and the surrounding communities. This monetary gift is greatly appreciated and will help our volunteers to continue to support those in need.”

During the pandemic, St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, located in the parish hall of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church on Water Street, offers a free meal in drive-thru and takeout format on Thursday nights from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Established in 1991, patrons not only come from Skowhegan but from surrounding communities such as Athens, Bingham, and Canaan.

Opened in 2017, the St. Peter’s Food Pantry, located on 272 Main Street in Bingham, is open on the first and second Wednesdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. During the pandemic, items are now packaged and left at the door of the pantry for pickup. The pantry serves residents from the communities of Bingham, Caratunk, Concord, Moscow, Moxie, and Pleasant Ridge.

For more information about the soup kitchen or food pantry, contact Christ the King Parish at 207-474-2039.