WATERVILLE — A Maine soup kitchen that had planned to close because of fewer donations is expected to stay open at least until the end of the year thanks to contributions from the community.

Dick Willette, director of the Waterville soup kitchen, had planned to close for good on Sept. 1 but a recent plea for donations has generated enough money to pay the bills.

WCSH-TV reports that businesses and community members have been sending checks and setting up fundraisers.

Willette now has enough money to keep the soup kitchen in the basement of Sacred Heart Church open through the end of the year.

The soup kitchen has been serving up meals to the Waterville area’s homeless for more than three decades.