PORTLAND—Thanks to the efforts of many young Maine Catholics, local soup kitchens, food banks, and food pantries were truly the big winners on Super Bowl Weekend (Feb. 3-4).
Youth ministry groups at parishes throughout the diocese held soup pots to collect monetary and food donations from parishioners as they left weekend Masses to benefit the “Souper” Bowl of Caring, a weekend of giving and serving during which 100% of the proceeds are donated to local charities to help tackle hunger in the community.
In total, the youth collected nearly $15,000 and hundreds of food items.
Good Shepherd Parish, Saco
Parish youth gathered non-perishable food item donations and collected around $3,300 to benefit local food pantries. The collection was held at all weekend Masses at the parish’s four churches (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; and St. Philip Church, Lyman).
St. Michael Parish, Augusta
Youth ministry members at St. Michael Parish collected nearly $3,100 and food items from parishioners leaving weekend Masses at each of the parish’s churches (St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Augusta; St. Augustine Church, Augusta; St. Joseph Church, Gardiner; Sacred Heart Church, Hallowell; St. Denis Church, Whitefield; St. Francis Xavier Church, Winthrop). The proceeds are going to local soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters.
All Saints Parish, Brunswick
A collection after all weekend Masses in each of the parish’s churches (St. Mary Church, Bath; Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Boothbay Harbor; St. Charles Borromeo Church, Brunswick; St. John the Baptist Church, Brunswick; St. Patrick Church, Newcastle; St. Ambrose Church, Richmond) produced nearly $2,700 and hundreds of non-perishable food items. All donations will go to area food pantries and the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick.
Parish of the Ascension of the Lord, Kittery
High school students stood at the exit doors after Masses with soup pots to collect donations for the local food pantries in Berwick, Kittery, and York. Many food items and over $1,900 were collected after the weekend Masses at three parish churches (St. Raphael Church, Kittery; Our Lady of the Angels Church, South Berwick; and St. Christopher Church, York).
St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Scarborough
After the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Feb. 4, youth ministry served coffee and donuts to parishioners and collected over $1,200 for local soup kitchens.
Parish of the Precious Blood, Caribou
Parish youth collected money after weekend Masses at St. Mary Church in Presque Isle and Holy Rosary Church in Caribou. The total amount collected, nearly $1,200, will be given to those in need in the area.
Holy Savior Parish, Rumford
Parish youth ministry members collected non-perishable food items and monetary donations at each door following weekend Masses at St. Athanasius and St. John Church in Rumford and Our Lady of the Snows Church in Bethel. The donations totaled nearly $1,100 and will go to several local food pantries.
Since its inception in 1990, churches across America have raised well over $100 million for soup kitchens, food pantries, and other charities through the “Souper” Bowl of Caring. In 2018, nearly 5,000 charities across the country benefited from the collection.