BREWER, Maine — The Brewer Area Food Pantry is planning to open the week of Thanksgiving and will be handing out 50 turkey dinners to locals in need.
“We wanted to be able to distribute some Thanksgiving baskets to people who need them in the Brewer area,” Brenda Leavitt, project manager for OHI, a Hermon-based agency that supports adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. “We’re going to concentrate on putting boxes together around the Thanksgiving meal. A turkey and all the fixings.”
The new pantry, operated at 222 North Main St. by volunteers led by OHI, will fill a gap left by the closure over a year ago of the Brewer Christian Food Cupboard, which served residents in the city and neighboring Eddington for three decades.
Meals were handed out to about 130 households, or about 350 people, each month when the food cupboard closed 15 months ago.
“We hoped to open November 1, however, an unforeseen heating issue during renovations forced us to alter those plans,” Leavitt said. “We’re thankful to still meet our goal of opening before the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Doors will be open 10 a.m.-noon Monday, Nov. 25, to hand out holiday meals to those who fall within federal poverty guidelines. An individual qualifies with an annual income of $17,235, or $332 a week, and a family of four qualifies with an annual income of about $33,325, or $680 a week.
All recipients will need to fill out paperwork the first time they visit the pantry to ensure they qualify.
Manna Ministries, Inc., The Rock Church in Bangor, the Brewer Community Service Council and Camden National Bank in Brewer are working together to get the city’s new pantry off the ground.
The food pantry’s regular hours of operation begin in December. The pantry will be open 10 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays the first four weeks of each month and 6-8 p.m. the fourth Thursday. A community open house is planned for 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Volunteers are still needed to prepare for the opening, Leavitt said.
“We really need volunteer support to prepare for opening day,” the project manager said. “At best, we have just a few days between when we expect the building to be ready to occupy and when we open.”
In addition, “OHI still has furnishings and supply needs for the facility particularly an office chair, and folding tables and chairs,” a press release about the opening states.
For information about the Brewer Area Food Pantry, call Brenda Leavitt at 848-5804 ext. 1208, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.