Scott Reed, president, and Abby Lucas, marketing manager from Curaleaf, display a check showing funds raised through a recent gift basket raffle to support Auburn’s “Grab ‘n Go” feeding program.

AUBURN — The city of Auburn and the Auburn Recreation division have teamed up with several community partners to provide the “Grab ‘n Go” meal and grocery initiative. The free program serves Auburn families and seniors needing assistance with food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to funding allocated by the Auburn City Council, several local businesses have made gifts to support “Grab ‘N Go,” including ReEnergy Lewiston, New England Grassroots Environment Fund and the team at Curaleaf, which recently hosted a gift basket raffle to support the program. A handful of residents have also provided financial gifts to support the program.

Scott Reed, president of Curaleaf, said, “As an essential business here in central Maine, we really wanted to find a way to assist our community through fundraising. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this donation are from our patients in our Auburn dispensary though a gift basket raffle. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support the city of Auburn’s ‘Grab ‘n Go’ food service.”

Since the program’s launch on March 20, the GNG program has prepared and/or provided an average of nearly 1,000 meals to approximately 500 adults and children each week. This would not be possible without the support of the community, the city staff and volunteers who run the program.

Many additional community partners have also supported “Grab ‘N Go,” through in-kind donations of products, supplies and assistance, including Pepsi, Upper Level Pizza, Gritty’s, Blackie’s, Kristi’s Cafe, Italian Bakery, the Auburn School Department, Firehouse Grill, The Copper Kettle, Utz, Dunkin’ Donuts Auburn, Dunkin’ Donuts Lisbon, Auburn’s Age Friendly Community Committee, Scott Whalen, Franklin School, Lost Valley Ski Area and Auburn PAL.

Marc Gosselin, Auburn executive director of Community Partnerships & Sports Tourism, said, “Any and all donations go a long way in the success of this impactful program. We continue to have more requests then we have resources. These donations allow us to continue to serve our community during this challenging time.”

A “thank you” received from one Grab ‘n Go participant said, “Just want [you] to know how grateful we are for your help during this time. Thank you so much. It helps tremendously. Without your help we would be starving.”

Donations of food, supplies and funding are still needed. To offer support, contact recreation director Sabrina Best at [email protected] or call: 207-333-6611.

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