BREWER, Maine — Food AND Medicine, a local nonprofit organization, is seeking to feed 1,000 families of laid-off workers this Thanksgiving for its 10th annual Solidarity Harvest. To help reach its goal, the group will hold its third annual benefit auction at 5 p.m. Friday at the Solidarity Center in Brewer to raise money for the feast.
Event organizer Ben Claeson said the organization has received 120 items to auction from businesses, unions, congregations and individuals from Maine and elsewhere in New England. The items includes handmade Native American baskets and moccasins, autographs and sports memorabilia from teams such as the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, and gift certificates from restaurants, hotels, outdoor adventure services and other businesses.
In addition, Topsham law firm McTeague Higbee has pledged to match $5,000 for the cause.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the way in which our community has been willing to support its members in need despite the tough economic times faced by everyone,” Claeson said.
Last year’s Solidarity Harvest fed 550 families in several Maine communities, including Lewiston, Bath, Millinocket and Bangor, event chairman Kevin Gregory said. Food AND Medicine was able to reach so many people because of the benefit auction that preceded it, he added.
“[It’s] a huge undertaking, but with the support and volunteers that we have, we believe this is an achievable goal. We plan to reach out to the whole state for recipients,” Gregory said.