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Pembroke woman pays for 37 quarts of soup, providing meal for 100 people in need in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 30. 2017 6:18PM

MANCHESTER - More than 100 people in need of a warm meal received a hand from a warm heart on Friday.

A woman paid for 37 quarts of cheddar broccoli soup to be delivered to 1269 Cafe, an organization that provides hot lunches and a warming station in the former police station on Chestnut Street.

"She was the angel of mercy," co-founder Mary Chevalier said Saturday.

That angel, Caitlin Markham of Pembroke, occasionally volunteers at 1269.

"My husband and I do a year-end chunk of giving," she said. "Hopefully, we'll encourage other people to give."

Markham said she saw a post Chevalier wrote asking for soup for the cafe.

"I come home at night to a warm house thinking, is there anyone sleeping out there (in the cold)?" Markham said. "There's such a huge need in Manchester."

Chevalier initially planned not to serve lunch Friday for several reasons, including the closure of the New Hampshire Food Bank, which supplies the cafe its food, but she changed her mind when it was so bitterly cold last week.

The Facebook page for 1269 Cafe said it is "a Christian outreach ministry to the homeless and people on the edge in the city of Manchester, NH."

It typically serves at least 100 lunches, said Chevalier, who wasn't at the cafe Friday.

"It was an awesome surprise" when Caitlin told her about her plans, she said.

Justin Trammell, assistant manager at Panera Bread on South Willow Street, handled the catering order.

"That's about $600 worth of soup," he said. "I think it's awesome."

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