Few things seem more heartwarming than a hot bowl of soup on a cool autumn night, unless, of course, you can share that meal with a neighbor to benefit others.

That’s the concept behind the 8th annual Soup Supper for Keep South Berwick Warm to be served Wednesday evening at The Lodge Restaurant at Spring Hill in South Berwick.

The popular meal draws hundreds of diners and raises money to provide fuel for residents who cannot afford it.

Last year’s event raised nearly $4,000 and supplied heating oil for 19 local families.

The project is sponsored by SoBo Central, a nonprofit formed in 2009 to support the cultural, economic and social heritage of South Berwick – from its faces to its places. The organization serves as the umbrella for smaller groups to realize projects and events that bring people together for the betterment of the community. These include candidate meet-and-greets during election season, downtown beautification projects and sundry celebrations like a memorial lantern festival, a summer concert series and holiday gatherings in the downtown area.

Wednesday’s soup night offers, for a suggested donation of $10, a selection of some 25 soups, including chili and chowder. They are abundantly supplied by area restaurants and residents like Ginny Smith-Alterio, a SoBo board member who will make a large pot of turkey and sweet potato soup for the meal. Bread for dipping is supplied by local baker When Pigs Fly and Panera. And an assortment of homemade cookies, cider, water and coffee round out the meal.


Smith-Alterio, whose family legacy in the town dates back to 1634, said, “The supper has a wonderful community feel to it. It’s a neighborhood gathering that has become more popular as time goes by.”

She believes the event perfectly exemplifies SoBo Central’s mission of bringing people together for celebration and community outreach or service.

“When I was little, my father (Freeman Smith) always used to say, ‘In this town, we take care of our own.’ And that is so true of South Berwick,” said Smith-Alterio.

Event organizer Pat Robinson agreed: “This is a true community supper held for, by and in honor of our townspeople and to care for others who may be in need.”

“We know that times can be hard, and in South Berwick we know how important it is to take care of each other,” said Robinson. “This is a really fun night of conversation, laughter and hearty eating.”

The event also will include raffles, live music and takeout service.

Those wishing to contribute to the fuel assistance fund may mail checks to: SoBo Central Keep ME Warm, 46 Witchtrot Road, South Berwick, ME 03908.

Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at:

[email protected]

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