Dear Friends,

At one of Wayside's recent Mobile Food Pantries, I was bagging handfuls of local fiddlehead ferns for our guests. One man said he knows them from his home in the Congo but by a different name. Another man said he likes the name but does not enjoy eating them. A woman told me she loves fiddleheads because they are a sign summer is coming. The season for these small wonders is short - only a month - then they are gone for another year.

It takes a while for summer to get started here in Maine, and when it does, it is immediately full of festivities and events. Summer at Wayside is equally celebratory and busy. Thanks to farmers and gardeners who share their bounty, our coolers are flush with fresh fruits and vegetables.That produce makes its way out the door as quickly as it comes in and is used to pump our Community Meals with extra seasonal goodies. Thanks to teams of volunteer gleaners, we begin chopping and freezing local strawberries, corn, and tomatoes - anything fresh - to use in the future. Summer means staff lunches outside at our bight turquoise tables next to our lush garden. And summer brings Pop up Picnics -more fun, outdoor opportunities to share healthy, delicious meals pincic style with our community members and celebrate summertime. 

In this moment, the days are long and becoming warmer. The ephemeral spring flowers have come and gone, and we have so much to look forward to. Before we immerse ourselves fully in the brief Maine summer, we invite you to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate what we did together last year. We could talk about so much, but we hope you enjoy some highlights in our 2021 Impact Report, linked below. 

Recently, I have been reading haikus, and understandably, they remind me of summer - they are achingly short. In their brevity, just three lines and 17 syllables, simple beauty and meaning is a testament to the ability to make each word or syllable essential, like each summer day. 

In the early summer rain,
I will see the floating nests
Of the grebes.
-Matsuo Basho (1644-1699)

Wishing you a wonderful, slow summer!

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.