HARRISON – The United Parish of Harrison and North Bridgton purchased 50 Thanksgiving and 55 Christmas food baskets for needy individuals and families.

Money to purchase the food baskets was coordinated by the United Parish Deacons with the CROP walk, Bridgton Rotary, Harrison VFW Auxiliary, Rebekahs, United Parish Ladies Circle and members and friends of the United Parish providing donations to cover the cost.

The food baskets were picked up by deacons and members of the United Parish at the Windham Community Center, which is associated with Serve New England.

Serve New England is a food co-op with 350 locations throughout New England. Serve promotes volunteer service and offers discounts on quality meat, groceries and vegetables to community minded individuals. Prices are low as they buy in large quantities.

The concept of Serve New England was based on a deacon from California named Carl Shelton, who had worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. She encouraged him to return to the states to help the thousands of hungry people in his own country.

A group from San Diego took the plan and from 1991 to 1997 it was affiliated with World SHARE, with Share New England a part of it. In 1998, Share New England became an independent nonprofit corporation.

Now known as Serve New England, it logs 75,000 hours of volunteer service each month and provides healthy, nutritious food to thousands of people throughout New England.

The United Parish Deacons Fund provides assistance to community people who have emergency needs. Anyone wishing to donate may contact the United Parish office at 583-4840.

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