Hands Across the Table finds new home at St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall; Wed. is new free meal night

LACONIA — Hands Across the Table has a new home at the parish hall of St. Andre Bessette and new night on Wednesdays for its free weekly meals.

Kyril Mitchell, president of Hands Across the Table, said that Fr. Marc Drouin, Pastor of St. Andre Bessette Parish, offered the parish hall on Gilford Avenue after the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region acquired St. James Episcopal Church, where meals had been served since June, 2011.

Mitchell expressed his sincere thanks to the congregation of St. James Episcopal Church and the directors of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region for their warm hospitality."We were welcomed with open arms and made many friends on North Main Street," he said.

"It's what the mission of the church is all about," said Drouin of his decision to offer the parish hall as a permanent location for the program. "We'd rather have it full than empty."

Mitchell said that Hands Across the Table needs a commercial kitchen, room to serve at least 120 people and no rent. "We got that and more," he remarked, explaining the hall has a capacity of 500 and an abundance of tables and chairs. "We're set up for 120, but we can instantly seat another 24," he said.

In 2013, Hands Across the Table served more than 7,000 meals.

Meals will be served for those seeking food and friendship on Wednesdays beginning next week, May 7. Doors will open at 4 p.m. and dinner is served at 5 p.m.


CAPTION: Fr. Marc Drouin, Pastor of St. Andre Bessette Parish and Kyril Mitchell, President of Hands Across the Table, have partnered to offer weekly meals at the Parish Hall alongside Sacred Heart Church on Gilford Avenue. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).