MILO, Maine — Poor economic times have made it difficult for the Milo Ecumenical Food Cupboard to serve the needy in the Milo region.
Not only is the food cupboard serving more families, but also it is receiving fewer donations from individuals and organizations to fulfill its needs.
Hoping to spur more giving, the Milo Farmers Union board of directors contributed $1,000 earlier this week to the food cupboard. It was the same amount directors gave the food cupboard two years ago.
“The board and I are well aware of the economic hardships in this area of Maine, with unemployment over 10 percent and 78 percent of schoolchildren in the Milo area eligible for free and reduced lunches,” Eben DeWitt, chairman of the Milo Farmers Union, said earlier this week.
Lew and Hope Dyer, who volunteer several hours each week to purchase and distribute some of the food for the cupboard, said Thursday that the donation from Milo Farmers Union is very important. “’We were getting down very low financially,” and the donation has made a big difference, Lew Dyer said.
Every family served by the cupboard receives canned items and dry goods, in addition to fresh eggs, bread, milk and meat, the latter of which is purchased from the Milo Farmers Union, the community’s only whole grocery store, according to the Dyers. In addition to the contribution, the store donates slightly dented cans and overstocked items for the cupboard.
Food also is collected from larger food banks in the state, Hope Dyer said Thursday.
While donated items are appreciated, the financial donations allow Lew Dyer to stretch the cupboard’s dollars by buying in bulk when he spots bargains.
The cupboard is open by appointment on Tuesdays and Fridays. Appointments must first be made through the Milo Town Office.