BANGOR — To commemorate the “Year of St. Joseph” and help neighbors in need, St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor will hold a major food drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, Donors can bring unexpired and non-perishable goods to any of the six parish churches, where collection sites will be held:

St. Gabriel Church, 435 South Main Street, Winterport; St. John Church, 217 York Street, Bangor; St. Joseph Church, 531 North Main Street, Brewer; St. Matthew Church, 70 Western Avenue, Hampden; St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio Street, Bangor; and St. Teresa Church, 425 South Main Street, Brewer

The food drive is being organized by the parish and the Knights of Columbus’ Pine Cone Council 114. Last year, at a similar drive, the Knights collected nearly 4,000 pounds of food for area food pantries. Food pantries around the state have seen an increase in clients due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the large number of people out of work.

“The co-director of the Bangor cupboard said we filled an urgent need for food. The cupboard was out of just about everything,” said Keith Forbes of the Pine Cone Council. “Thanks to everyone who share in this gift giving, we can make a big difference in households throughout the community.”

If you can’t make it on Feb. 20, you can still support the pantries by sending monetary donations directly to them. They include: Brewer Area Food Pantry OHI 203 Maine Avenue Bangor, ME 04401; The Ecumenical Food Cupboard Hammond Street Congregational Church PO Box 1106 Bangor, ME 04402-1106; Hampden Food Cupboard PO Box 9 Hampden, ME 04444; and Neighbor’s Cupboard PO Box 742 Winterport, ME 04496.

Pope Francis has proclaimed this the “Year of St. Joseph.” One hundred fifty years ago (Dec. 8, 1870), Pope Pius IX declared Joseph as patron of the Universal Church. Now, in the midst of the pandemic which has so affected our lives, Pope Francis wants to lift up this quiet man whose steadfast faith and abundant love played such a pivotal role in salvation history. In the pandemic, we have become aware of the great importance of the ordinary people who sustain our lives and shape the decisive moments of history. Pope Francis calls to our attention the contribution of those who have kept our society strong.

A special web section focusing on the Year of Saint Joseph is now available for viewing on the Diocese of Portland’s website at www.portlanddiocese.org/year-of-saint-joseph. The section on the diocesan website features a variety of resources for the year, including a list of celebrations and events planned for Maine that will be continually updated, prayers, images, and more. You can also learn more about the plenary indulgences associated with the year and the conditions and ways to receive one.