"Food insecurity and hunger are big issues in the greater Bangor area. This is one way we can help."

That's what Pastor Steve Smith said when I asked him recently what was up with the construction project going on at the Bangor First United Methodist Church on Essex St.

Church Window 9, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 9, Pastor Steve Smith
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"Whatever we can do to produce ministries that are easier for people to access…. That’s what we aim for."

Pastor Smith said the project, which is the addition of a drive-thru style window off the church's kitchen, will help volunteers working to help feed folks in need with better ease.

Church Window 1, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 1, Pastor Steve Smith
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"Every Thursday night the church serves free meals, hot dinners, to folks who drive up our circular driveway to receive one. We typically serve about 70 to 90 people, then the meals are taken to the Bangor area homeless shelter warming center, and to some homeless tent camps as well."

Church Window 3, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 3, Pastor Steve Smith
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"Presently a lot of walking is involved to take the meals from the kitchen to the outside circular driveway."

Church Window 8, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 8, Pastor Steve Smith
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"This arrangement will allow us to serve the meals right out the window right into the driveway, saving lots of steps!"

Church Window 6, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 6, Pastor Steve Smith
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Smith says the project began this fall when the church applied for and received a grant from the Good Shepherd Food Bank. The grant was aimed at helping organizations that were assisting people experiencing food insecurity.

Church Window 4, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 4, Pastor Steve Smith
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"They started working on it in September. The first phase was to build a large cement pad in front of the church for access."

Church Window 5, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 5, Pastor Steve Smith
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"It’s taken about four months for the supplies to come in; most carpenters are having to wait quite a while for supplies due to shipping issues due to the pandemic."

Church Window 2, Pastor Steve Smith
Church Window 2, Pastor Steve Smith
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Smith says the project is nearing completion, and he hopes that they'll be able to use it for next week's dinner run, from 4-6 PM.

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