Teamsters help gather 30,000 pounds of food for County families

Posted July 20, 2011, at 5:39 p.m.

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine – Members of the South Portland-based Teamsters Local 340 are crediting generous Mainers across the state with helping them collect 30,000 pounds of food for needy Aroostook County families.

Teamsters Local 340, through its Women’s Committee, conducted a two-day statewide food drive that began on July 16 to benefit Catholic Charities Maine in Caribou. The drive wrapped up July 17 during the 63rd annual Potato Blossom Festival parade.

A tractor-trailer drove from Kittery to Fort Fairfield, making close to a dozen stops along the way so that members of Teamsters Local 340 could fill it with nonperishable food donations.

The final stop was in Fort Fairfield, where the truck rolled along in the Maine Potato Blossom parade with Teamsters members and representatives from Catholic Charities of Maine collecting canned goods and donations along the parade route.

Teamsters Local 340 has nearly 4,000 members.

Traci Place, a business agent for the union, said Wednesday that the third annual drive netted 30,000 pounds of food and $1,600 in donations, an increase of $300 from last year. Place said the donations included not only nonperishable canned goods, but fresh bread, milk, and snack and bakery items.

“Once again, the support from our membership as well as the public was overwhelming,” said Place.

Kenneth Eaton, Local 340 president, credited the Teamsters for stepping up to assist families who are less fortunate.

“This year’s successful food drive is another great example of that unselfishness,” he said.

Through its Caribou-based food bank, Catholic Charities Maine stocks 24 food pantries throughout Aroostook County.

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