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Death Café Provincetown

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The next Death Café will be on Wednesday, May 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Provincetown Commons 46 Bradford St. At a Death Café people gather to discuss death and eat sweets. Death Café Provincetown is designed to nurture a positive and curious relationship to death and dying. The objective is simple, yet profound: to increase awareness of death with a view to helping each other make the most of our (finite) lives.

The Death Café model is a social franchise with origins that began with Swiss sociologists Bernard Crettaz and Yvonne Preiswerk who, beginning in the 1980s, studied societal rites and customs that accompany death. In 2000, after the death of Yvonne, Bernard founded Café Mortel, which brought people together in bistros to talk about death. In 2010 John Underwood read about Bernard and Café Mortel and in 2011 decided to start his own Death Café series in East London facilitated by his mother and psychotherapist Sue Barsky Reid.

The Death Café model spread quickly across Europe, North America and Australasia. Since 2011, there have been nearly 8,000 Death Cafes offered in 65 countries. If 10 people attended each one, that’s 80,000 folks coming together to talk about death.

At Death Café Provincetown, participants are offered a space to come together as friends and community members to reflect and discuss what we believe is important with regards to death and dying. Death Café Provincetown is a place where we can ask questions and share experiences; it is a place where we can celebrate life while cultivating an active relationship with death.
Death Café discussions are open-ended, participant-led conversations with no agenda, objective or theme. Death Café Provincetown is not a grief support group, nor is it a counseling session; it is an opportunity to make friends with death.

Death Café Provincetown is organized and facilitated by Dawn Walsh, End-of-Life Doula. Dawn is also the founder and producer of Provincetown’s Annual Day of the Dead Festival, a hospice volunteer, a green burial advocate, a member of The Order of the Good Death, and serves on the Provincetown Cemetery Commission.

Death Café Provincetown is a free event open to all. Refreshments provided. For more information visit Deathcafe.com.

Soup Kitchen Receives Greater Boston Food Bank Grant

The Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP) has received a generous Capacity Expansion Grant from the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). It enabled SKIP to purchase a new, more efficient stove with innovection ovens. These ovens circulate heat like convection ovens and cook foods faster. This makes it possible for SKIP to increase the number of daily meals it’s able to provide guests.

SKIP’s former stove had been in use for more than a decade and had incurred repeated repair costs. “Because of its deteriorating condition, the result was foods that were undercooked or overcooked—at times even burned,” said SKIP Vice Chair Philip Franchini. “That often made food preparation inefficient and led to unnecessary waste. It also raised the spectre of both health and safety concerns. Plus it made it impossible to increase the amount of food SKIP could cook.”

Thanks to the GBFB grant, SKIP was able to purchase a 10-burner American Range with two innovection ovens. These ovens cook faster due to improved circulation of heat that is said to be better than that of convection ovens. Besides its more efficient ovens, the new stove has extra racks, allowing SKIP to cook more food each day to feed an increasing number of guests. It also enables SKIP to cook the extra food needed for additional “to-go meals” every Friday during its season. That’s an additional 125 meals per week for a total of 3,250 more meals per season.
SKIP has found it most challenging to raise the substantial funds needed for capital-improvement projects like this. It is nonetheless committed to improving the safety and efficiency of its operations. SKIP must regularly raise funds to replace old, inefficient refrigerators, freezers and other worn-out kitchen equipment.

Open to all, the soup kitchen operates weekdays November through April, serving hot, nutritious meals. Guests begin gathering at noon for the 12:30 p.m. lunch, mingling with friends or browsing the adjoining thrift shop. “The daily lunch can fill the gap in a winter economy that stretches the budgets of many people whose incomes are seasonal,” said SKIP Chairman Daniel Elias.

SKIP will serve an estimated 15,000 meals in its 2019-2020 season. “Besides offering a place for the delicious food our volunteers prepare and serve each day, the soup kitchen helps build a sense of community,” said Elias. “That can be even more important during the winter months, when people sometimes feel isolated and even marginalized.”

SKIP relies on private donations for most of its operations and welcomes gifts from the Cape and elsewhere. Checks or money orders may be sent to SKIP, P.O. Box 538, Provincetown, MA 02657. Online donations may be made via SKIP’s website, www.skipfood.org. Because SKIP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax-deductible. SKIP-related questions should be directed to [email protected].

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