BATH — The Bath Soup Kitchen has reopened its doors with a new manager, alleviating fears that the facility would be forced to send clients to another town for services.

Located at First Baptist Church, 851 Washington St., the soup kitchen closed for the summer season as usual in July. It was supposed to reopen on Sept. 1, but that date had to be pushed back because there wasn’t anyone to run the operation. Patti Silva, former chef of the Neighborhood Cafe at United Church of Christ, reopened the soup kitchen Oct. 1.

Silva prepared her first meal as manager of the soup kitchen last week – barbecue spare ribs, coleslaw and potato wedges. And she did it for a record-setting turnout of 43 people. A typical turnout is 18 to 22.

“There’s a need in the city of Bath,” said Silva. “Not just for food. I think they’re also hungry for companionship.”

Along with Silva’s experience with the Neighorhood Cafe, another charitable organization in Bath, she has also catered for large events.

“We used to cook for 1,800 people,” she said. “Cooking a big meal is not challenging to me.”

Kimberly Gates, executive director of the Bath Area Food Bank, which manages the kitchen, said she is hoping to draw more diners. “Once the word gets out that Patti is an amazing cook, it will drive people here, I’m sure,” she said.

The soup kitchen gets its food from the Bath Area Food Bank, which in turn gets its food from a variety of sources. Last Wednesday, the coffee was donated by Starbucks, and some of the food was donated by Hannaford.

Silva said the soup kitchen is always in need of volunteers to help do prep work and serve.

The soup kitchen serves meals from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All are welcome to attend free of charge.

Chris Chase can be contacted at:

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