DEAR SUN SPOTS: I saw your Feb. 4 column on feeding the hungry in our community. United Way is committed to better informing the public about hunger in Androscoggin County through forums such as this and by helping to facilitate food donations to the 18 food pantries and Good Shepherd Food-Bank through our Pantry Project.

Good Shepherd is a food bank, where pantries “shop.” GSFB provides food to pantries at the discounted rate of up to 16 cents per pound. Perishable items, like baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables are distributed for free.

At prices of up to 16 cents per pound, $1 of food at Good Shepherd may be equal to as much as $8 worth of food at the grocery store. For local pantries, that means that a traditional shopping cart full of food valued at $200 could cost only $25 and be equal to 120 meals. As you can see, Good Shepherd is providing an invaluable service to our state’s food pantries.

United Way’s Pantry Project is a communitywide initiative that aims to keep pantry shelves stocked well beyond the traditional holiday season of giving. Local companies and organizations display special shelving units and encourage employees to donate food and toiletry items. Last year, the Pantry Project raised more than 208 boxes of food or 10,000 meals for local pantries. And as part of the Pantry Project, GSFB gives out any food collected through the project to Androscoggin County pantries free of charge.

Hunger is a real problem in our state. In Androscoggin County alone, more than 5,000 children are hungry everyday. It’s going to take all of us, working together, to help. The distribution system of pantries shopping at the food bank is working well when combined with individual food donations directly to pantries. We just need to make sure enough food is available for all who need it.

To bring the Pantry Project to your company or organization in Androscoggin County, please call United Way today at 795-4000. — Joleen Bedard, executive director

ANSWER: Joleen provided a list of the 18 food pantries in Androscoggin County, along with all their relevant information. The complete list is too long to present here, so Sun Spots has reduced it to the name of the pantry and the phone number for those who lack computers. For those who are online, a website directory of food banks is provided in the letter that follows. Finally, those who are hungry or need help can also dial 2-1-1.

* Bread of Life at The Vineyard. 346-6015 or 345-9501

* Loaves & Fishes, Dominican Sisters, 375-8399

* Court Street Baptist, 784-6661

* Greene Baptist, 946-5505

* High Street Congregational, 784-1306

* Hope Haven Gospel, 783-6086

* In His Name Food Pantry, 783-1200

* Leeds Community Church, 524-7151

* Lisbon Area Christian Outreach, 353-6002 or 353-8019

* Poland Community Church, 998-4227

* Salvation Army, 783-0801

* Seventh Day Adventist, 998-5238

* St. Louis Church, 784-9087

* St. Mary’s Food Pantry, 777-8347

* Trinity Jubilee Center, 782-5700

* Tri-Town Ministerial, 897-3063

* Turner Food Pantry, 224-7781

* Wales Presbyterian, 375-6618

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In a recent column, mention was made of the smaller food pantries in the area. We would like to acquaint you with our food pantry, which is the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry at 61 Lisbon Road in Sabattus. In this economy, we welcome food and monetary donations from your generous readers. Donations may be made by calling Sister Lucille Fournier at 375-8399.

If Sun Spots’ readers are interested, a list of food pantries is available, by county. They just need to follow this link on the www.maine.gov website: http://tinyurl.com/49nemc4. — Claudette Therriault, www.sabattusdominicans.org, [email protected]

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]


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