Staying connected, while being physically distant.

Dear Friends,

This fall seems like any other fall in so many ways. There is the smell of wood smoke on chilly evenings. The light looks different and the wind picks up, reminding us that even though it is bright and beautiful outside, winter is waiting to emerge. This year of course, is markedly different. 

Nowhere does life seem more different than in our schools. Kindergarteners to college students, lunchroom workers, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, aides, nurses and administrators are all faced with new ways of learning and teaching. I am in awe and inspired each day by their dedication to the education and well-being of our youngest community members. It has been an honor to work together with them to ensure that students and their families have access to the healthy foods they need to thrive. There is so much creativity needed to make this school year work. And this amazing creativity isn't just in our schools. I have also been inspired by all the innovative ways community members have found to share their gifts, to connect, and to support each other while we cannot be together. 

At Wayside, we've spent the last nine months thinking about how we can support individuals as so many struggle to navigate our new normal. Amidst the sense of disarray, the loss of jobs, economic insecurity, health concerns, and physical separation from loved ones, we persist - still striving to cultivate greater social, financial, and racial equities. 

It is so important to keep hope right now. While so much has changed, one thing that remains the same is that the best way to foster hope and connection is by sharing meals. Although we cannot be together, we can still work side by side to ensure our community members eat well and are able to use food to connect. We want to thank each of you for being part of our work and the work of all our partner organizations ensuring all our neighbors have healthy food to share within their smaller circles of family and friends. 

Please know that we are here, thinking of you all and looking forward to being together again sharing food at our Community Meals, cooking together in our kitchen, planting and harvesting in our garden, or catching up at a food drive.

Be well and stay safe.

Mary Zwolinski
Executive Director



How to donate

Donating to Wayside is as easy as using our secure donation form. Donations may also be mailed to Wayside Food Programs at PO Box 1278, Portland, Maine, 04104.

In addition to cash donations, there are a number of innovative ways to contribute, including: Estate planning, which can contribute to Wayside's mission. Employee match programs, where employers match a portion of employee contributions. To learn more about innovative ways of contributing to Wayside, please contact us.