Eagle Lake non-profit distributes 350 free Thanksgiving meals
EAGLE LAKE, Maine — All Things Become New of Eagle Lake provided 350 free Thanksgiving meals this year to anyone who wanted them.
“They were so happy; some said last year’s meal was the best meal they had all year. They were so excited to be getting another one,” All Things Become New co-founder Suzanne Morneault said.
More than 30 volunteers cooked up 300 pounds of turkey, 200 pounds of potatoes and 375 bread rolls at the Wallagrass Community Center. They distributed complete Thanksgiving meals to folks in Winterville, Quimby, Eagle Lake, Wallagrass, Soldier Pond, New Canada, Fort Kent and St John.
Meal ingredients were purchased through donations from community members. GB&D Farms donated the potatoes while Paradis Shop and Save and John’s Thriftway donated gift cards to purchase food from the grocery stores.
Recipients of the Thanksgiving meals included the elderly, those who were alone for the holiday, and people who could not cook due to health reasons.
“In the last week we had COVID families reaching out and asking for a meal for the whole family because they were all in quarantine,” Morneault said.
Morneault and her daughter, brain injury survivor Mindy Forino, founded All Things Become New after Forino, an award-winning soccer goalie, incurred a traumatic brain injury during a college soccer game in 2010.
The mission of All Things Become New is to provide education about traumatic brain injuries and facilitate support groups for people affected by brain injuries.
In 2017, All Things Become New opened a “Haven of Rest” home in Eagle Lake to provide free respite to caregivers in the peace and tranquility of northern Maine.
University of Maine at Fort Kent employees Jermaine Weste and Theresa Biggs also contributed to the Thanksgiving meal effort. They helped distribute meals to 50 UMFK students.
Weste, assistant soccer coach for the UMFK Bengal men’s and women’s soccer teams, moved to Maine from Jamaica in 2008 to attend UMFK. He said he knows what it feels like to be a college student far from home, especially during holidays.
“UMFK is a pretty diverse campus where you have students from all over the world. [It is difficult for students on] a day like today when students would love to be with their families and can’t. UMFK is a family and having these meals to deliver to them warms their hearts knowing that they aren’t left out,” Weste said.
Morneault said All Things Become New plans to provide meals again next Thanksgiving.
“We will do it again next year because we love the opportunity to let our community members know that God loves them and so do we,” Morneault said. “It’s a blessing to uplift the soul of another.”