MADISON – Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Ronald Voisine and Secretary Michael Lange presented a $1,000 check from the Elks National Foundation (ENF) to the People Who Care Food Bank in Madison on June 12.
The donation was part of a Gratitude Grant from the ENF which rewards local lodges that meet a per-capital goal in contributions each year. The food cupboard operated by the Skowhegan Federated Church will also receive a $1,000 donation later this month.
“We know that food banks are really hurting, especially now that youngsters are getting out of school. Many were able to get free or reduced lunches at school during the year. But now these same families will have to stretch their food budgets even more,” said Lange.
The People Who Care Food Cupboard operates out of the former Old Point Avenue School in Madison and serves clients from Madison, Anson, North Anson, Embden and New Portland. So far this year, the organization has seen a 17 percent increase in clients from the same time period last year. In 2011, they served 2,488 families.
The Skowhegan Federated Church has operated a food bank out of its function hall since 2004 and serves 40 to 50 families each month. Besides food, the cupboard also stocks paper products and other household necessities.
A community-wide drive each November helps pay for 150 Thanksgiving baskets for families in need.
The Elks National Foundation is the major charitable arm of the nationwide fraternal organization. In addition to grants for local lodges, the ENF funds scholarships, drug awareness prevention program, assistance to veterans’ services, the youth “Hoop Shoot” basketball competition and other charitable causes.