Jeff and Jena Young have been helping people “live like a local” in Bar Harbor for nine years at the Side Street Café, but for them, it is more than just the restaurant motto. This winter they are helping to combat hunger in Hancock County. If you make a donation of $5 (or more) to The Bar Harbor Food Pantry you will be rewarded with $5 of Side Street Cash (aka Diego Dollars - Named after Side Street’s beloved mascot and family pet) to use during a future visit. A $5 donation provides 20 meals and will get you on your way to a tasty Maine dinner! Much of the BHFP inventory is ordered through the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which makes every dollar very powerful and far reaching.
The Young’s have also donated gift cards from Side Street Café to the Parish House, a Volunteers of America Northern New England property that provides supportive permanent housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Parish House was designed and developed to be an inclusive community, where people will have the opportunity to live, thrive, and be active participants in the Bar Harbor community.” said Erin Cooperrider, Community Housing of Maine’s Development Director. Jeff and Jena embody the spirt of what the Bar Harbor community is. They, along with their staff, have been known to hold theme parties to benefit local organizations and to offer support to the community in any way they can.
Jeff and Jena are also involved with another Volunteers of America organization, the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, a residential center designed to give incarcerated men the skills and experience they need to live successfully as citizens and employees after they transition into their home communities. MCRRC was entered into a drawing at Side Street Café by a staff member and won. “Normally the prize would have been a gift card for a local non-profit to go to the Side Street Café and enjoy some food, not so easy when that would involve loading up 32 inmates and taking them to Bar Harbor”, laughed Robyn Goff, Assistant Program Manager at MCRRC. “Jena and Jeff donated the gift card amount in meals for me to bring to them. It was awesome and the guys who were residents at the time will probably never forget it!”
To learn more about the Side Street Café, or pick up some Diego Dollars, you can visit them at 49 Rodick Street in Bar Harbor or online at sidestreetbarharbor.com. You can also find them on facebook, instagram, and twitter. Not in the area? You can also take a virtual tour!