2021 has been a profoundly difficult year for so many in and outside of the Mount Desert Island community. We deeply thank all of our generous donors – in particular, the Witham Family Hotels Charitable Fund, which recently honored us with a $100,000 check.

Thanks to their support and the support of many other dedicated donors and volunteers, we have been able to expand our programming and reach even more of the community during these challenging times. Without you, this important, life-changing work would not be possible.

What Have We Accomplished Together?

Since 2018, Open Table MDI has shared over 50,000 nutritious meals with our island communities. Following the onset of COVID-19, our program has grown more than 350% and we currently serve 500+ community members each week. As our capacity has grown so has our need, and we will move into a new permanent kitchen and dining space in 2022 to address this need.

Our Bar Harbor Community Supper and the MDI Food Access Project reach every town and village on Mount Desert Island, in addition to Swan’s Island, Frenchboro, the Cranberry Islands, Sullivan, Trenton, and Lamoine.

We invite you to consider making a year-end gift to Open Table MDI, so that our organization can continue to alleviate hunger and isolation by feeding individuals and families on Mount Desert Island and beyond. Your gift will help support our expansion at 116 Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, as well as the sustainability of our current projects.

It has been with your help, whether you have provided funds, time, or energy to our organization, that we have bee able to keep our programs running and our organization growing. Your generosity has allowed us to build community through the sharing of meals. We thank you for your continued support!

Janice’s Story

“We need to keep Open Table MDI growing and functioning in all its glory because it is a community builder – in a most joyful and delicious way.”

Janice is a Bar Harbor resident who has been attending Open Table MDI’s weekly suppers since we first began the program. Janice says that our weekly suppers have provided her with both a source of delicious, nourishing food and a way to connect to the community.

“What really sets Open Table MDI apart is that the food is just so amazingly good and nutritious and they’re so attentive to what people need individually. And it’s just the most delightful atmosphere and inviting to everybody,” she says.

Janice knows that the pandemic has impacted her community, and she says that Open Table MDI’s services are particularly important during these challenging times.

“For people who need a place to go get food or need to have it delivered to them, in addition to the options of the food pantry, Open Table MDI is really important. They provide food and connection – that is so important to us.”

Iain’s Story

“Open Table MDI brings the whole island together.”

Iain is a student at College of the Atlantic who found out about Open Table MDI from his peers. He first began volunteering at our fundraising events and has volunteered as a driver for our weekly meals program. He believes that supporting our work helps the community as a whole, particularly during times of hardship.

Iain says that the kind of work Open Table MDI does, and the nature of sharing meals, can help communities heal. “As we become more polarized and the pandemic continues, the loss of community is only exacerbated and people might not come together in the same places that they used to. Food is a way to bridge that gap. Food is unique because it brings people together; no matter who you are, everyone needs to eat. It can bring people together and foster new, meaningful connections.”

When asked why he volunteers with Open Table MDI, Iain says, “I think getting involved with Open Table MDI is a really valuable thing to do both because it connects you to others and because it gives back to this valuable organization. When you volunteer for Open Table MDI, you get to really see what community building means and you have the opportunity to build your own connections, which is incredibly fulfilling.”