When it comes to hunger in Lincoln County, judging both by demands on local pantries and by statistical trends in the county, the state of Maine, and the U.S. as a whole, more and more people are going to bed unsure where their next meal may be coming from. To help with this persistent challenge, the local Rotary and Lions clubs will again be teaming up to solicit funds to lessen food insecurity and to meet other community needs. The clubs will have kettles at the usual two locations, Yellowfront Grocery in Damariscotta and the Damariscotta post office.
Thanks to the work not only of the clubs themselves but of hundreds of community volunteers who pitch in, 100 percent of funds collected will go directly to help people in need, with zero administrative overhead.
Solicitation will begin on Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, and continue for three weeks through Saturday, Dec. 16. The Lincoln Academy Interact Club will supply volunteers on Saturdays, and many area businesses, again including Colby & Gale Inc., Cheney Insurance, Supplies Unlimited and First National Bank, will also be fielding teams. First National Bank Branch Manager Angie Powell will provide overnight security and deposit services and keep accurate account of the intake. Natalie House will make sure each night’s take makes it safely to the bank. Jeff Pierce at Yellowfront Grocery and Mary Kate Reny at Renys have again agreed to provide storage space at night for equipment.
Last year, $7,400 was raised by this campaign and, given the ever greater need, the clubs hope to do even better in 2017. The bulk of the funds will be used for a repeat of a food-packing event to be held at the renovated Central Lincoln County YMCA, tentatively scheduled for April 14 of next year. For the past three years, more than 100 volunteers have turned out to help pack dried vitamin-fortified meals to be boxed and delivered to area food pantries. Last February, volunteers packed 20,000 meals in one afternoon of hard work, and the hope is to do the same again in April 2018. This “sweat equity” enables the money to be leveraged, driving the cost down to 25 cents per meal.
Call Rotarian Winslow Myers at 350-6502 to give an hour or more to stand at the post office or Yellowfront Grocery to help solicit contributions. There are still many hours to fill, and everyone is needed and gratefully appreciated!