February 18, 2018
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Community Responds to Need for Food

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The community is rallying to support the 3rd Annual Hancock County Food drive which underway now until the end of March. More than 130 churches, businesses, organizations and schools are collecting food. That far exceeds last year’s number of donation sites across the county.
The Franklin Baptist Church has come up with a fun competition. Church member Donna Abbott says people have a tendency to sit on the same side of the church every Sunday. “We are having a little friendly competition between the people on the opposite sides of the church to see if the folks on the left or the right will bring in the most food.” Pastor Steve Sobel says it isn’t something they normally do but his parishioners have very big hearts and a desire to help as well as a competitive spirit. He says “ it’s a fun way to do the Lord’s work not just in words but in deeds.”
The owners of the Surry General Store are also taking an active role in getting their customers to donate. Pete Brown says he and his wife Pam felt “this was a good idea and a good way to help the community.” They are advertising that they are a donation site on a big sign in front of their store as well as sending out e-mail reminders to their customers. They are also matching one dollar for every food item dropped off at the store. Pam Brown jokes “We like to eat and we wanted to make sure other people can too!”
The 3rd annual Hancock County Food drive runs now until the end of March. The cold weather, higher fuel costs and the large number of storms have made this an especially difficult winter for those who struggle to get by. They turn to the food pantries for assistance. Pantry Directors say this is the time of year when the shelves are running low and donations are typically down. All of the items donated during the food drive will be divided between the food pantries and community meal sites in Hancock County.
Food can be dropped off at more than 130 sites. The United Way of Eastern Maine and the Maine Community Foundation will match $1.00 for every food item collected up to $10,000. You can make a monetary donation online by going to www.unitedwayem.org and click on the “Donate Now.” Checks can be made out to United Way of eastern Maine with Hancock County Food Drive on the memo line. They should be sent to 24 Springer Drive suite 201 Bangor, Maine 04401. For more information please contact Marjorie Peronto, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, at 667-8212.