Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Collins’ impressive record

As a former community banker and lawmaker, I commend Sen. Susan Collins for co-authoring the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sen. Collins played a key role creating this program that has become a life saver for small businesses and nonprofits.

In the face of crisis, her quick action has supported roughly 240,000 jobs and 27,000 small employers in Maine alone. Maine businesses received over $2 billion in PPP loans.

Since 1996, Sen. Collins has put Maine people first and the PPP is just one example. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she has persistently advocated for investment in Maine’s vital transportation system and community development projects. She has supported our major industries: shipbuilding, logging, fisheries, farming and technology. She is a voice for education from pre-K to higher ed. She is a strong advocate for our veterans and first responders. She is a proponent of access to health care, including diabetes and Alzheimer’s treatment, and now, COVID-19. After the 9/11 attacks, she helped overhaul our homeland security.

That’s quite a record.

Sen. Collins is 12th in seniority, an influential U.S. Senator committed to serving Maine people. Most important, she has never missed a roll call vote — over 7,000. She’s a clear, moderate voice in a very bipartisan Congress. We need Sen. Collins now more than ever.

Sen. Collins has my thanks, and she has my vote in November.

Jayne Crosby Giles

Belfast

Gratitude for MaineCare

I am writing to express sincere gratitude for the health coverage that I have through MaineCare. I am in my mid-50s, and self-employed in a business that is physically demanding. Prior to getting MaineCare, I had gone years without a primary health care provider or a basic checkup.

I was so relieved. I hadn’t even realized the stress and fear that I had been carrying, hoping that nothing would happen to me like an injury or sickness. Knowing that I can go to my doctor when needed provides me peace of mind that I feel significantly affects my health positively.

I encourage our federal policymakers to do all that they can to ensure that states have resources they need so that people like me, and all others all who, are able to go to providers when necessary to maintain health.

Heidi Osterhout

Orono

Expand SNAP in next relief bill

I am calling on Congress to support and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as they debate the current relief bill. I am a member of Food and Medicine and volunteer with their Food Access Committee, which consists of delegates from 13 community gardens in low-income, senior, and disabled housing and other locations in the Bangor-Brewer area.

I am 60 now and depend on SNAP. When I was working, I had to depend on SNAP because working minimum wage jobs meant I couldn’t make my bills without it. I was always scrimping just to get by and dealing with all the paperwork and documentation required to keep the benefits meant sometimes the amount would drop or I would lose my food stamps altogether. I had to fight to get those benefits back. I don’t think the people deciding on these policies understand what we have to go through as poor people and as disabled people. SNAP is the best protection against hunger and a government for the people should act to prevent unnecessary suffering.

I’m calling on Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to boost maximum benefits by 15 percent in the next coronavirus relief package.

Food prices are higher this year and food insecurity has deepened as a result of this pandemic. There is too much uncertainty out there, I don’t want me and my neighbors who are on fixed incomes, to worry about having enough to eat.

Debbie Eaton

Brewer