Lynne Barboza, left, Food City assistant manager; and Rotarian Carol Madsen kick off a voucher program. Contributed photo

BRIDGTON — Service work on the Stephens Brook Trail is a new Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club project that requires assistance.

The club has started this project in partnership with Lake Environmental Association, a 40-plus year old environmental organization headquartered in Bridgton. Those interested can meet at 2 p.m. Friday, May 14, at the Bob Dunning Bridge at the entrance to Pondicherry Park. A survey of needs will be continued along the trail between the park and Food City; bring work gloves and clippers.

Meanwhile, local food pantries have distributed more than 200 vouchers in recent weeks. Club member and past president Carol Madsen worked out details for the voucher program with Bridgton’s Food City Manager Jennifer Moran and Assistant Manager Lynne Barboza. The $5 vouchers can be used for laundry detergent or other household cleaning supplies by food pantry patrons.

This is part of a year-long program the club has managed with the help of a Rotary District 7780 grant to provide health and wellness supplies to local food pantries during the pandemic. The district grant was matched by local donors, individual Rotarians and the club’s reserves.

“The grant is nearly complete so we wanted to finish with something people have really appreciated in the past,” said Madsen, COVID-19 Project coordinator, in a news release. “And, laundry and cleaning products are not covered by SNAP, Maine’s supplemental nutrition assistance program, formerly called food stamps. Our work with the pantries has allowed them to put more of their own funds directly into food products and produce.”

Because of community support as a whole for this project, it has resulted in a wealth of new Friends of Rotary who focus on service work, several of whom became new members of Rotary, and many others who have donated time and money to this effort.

For more information about the club, visit, like the organization on Facebook, or email [email protected].

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