SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 25, 2012

Ma Duke's was 6 months behind on power bills

Danvers: Community has stepped up to help restaurant known for its free Thanksgiving meals

DANVERS — Town Manager Wayne Marquis said it is unfortunate that Danvers Electric had to shut off the power to Ma Duke’s, given owner Debby Marticio’s generosity in preparing hundreds of free Thanksgiving meals for the past several years.

However, the modest eatery at 139 Maple St. was six months behind in its bills before the municipal electric company shut off power Monday.

“It’s unfortunate,” Marquis said. “We certainly appreciate the good work she’s done for which many people are grateful, we’re grateful.”

Ma Duke’s electric bills averaged $1,070 a month, Marquis said. Marticio said Tuesday that she owes a total of $6,300.

Yesterday, she said that she is hoping to reopen, maybe at the end of the week, thanks to people who have stepped up to offer to pay her bill.

“I’m going to get there,” she said, saying one woman offered to contact 60 of her friends to donate $100 apiece. “I have so many people calling to send checks.”

Marquis said he appreciates Ma Duke’s Pizza, Seafood and More’s good work, including the preparation last year of approximately 1,000 free Thanksgiving dinners. Those meals in the past have fed homeless families, housebound residents, young people struggling with substance abuse at a Danvers treatment center and those living at the Inn Transition transitional housing in Peabody. Marticio has been making these free meals for the past six years. The town coordinates efforts to feed the needy during the holidays among various agencies and restaurants like Ma Duke’s and Supino’s that in the past have stepped up to help.

It costs between $10,000 and $11,000 to serve the free Thanksgiving meal at Ma Duke’s, Marticio said, with much of that coming from donations.

Marticio said she has no hard feelings toward the town.

“Oh God, no, not at all,” she said. “I understand their point of view.”

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