REGION — School will soon be out with many kids anxious to enjoy the warm summer months, either at the beach or at a park. For kids, all that is on their minds is the time they have to be free from homework and school projects.

For some parents, however, all they can think about is how they are going to keep their kids fed now that school is out. Many families rely heavily on schools to provide meals and food for their children, and when school is out, some are left frantically searching for ways to make sure their kids have something to eat.

In the Regional School Unit 73 district, families in need of assistance with food insecurity can reach out to Spruce Mountain Primary School and set up an appointment to pick up a supply of food. The program is currently run by Penny Gould, a second-grade teacher who took over the program last year.

“When [Principal Michael Glynn] took over,” Gould said in a phone interview, “I approached him and asked to take over the program because I didn’t want to see it go away.”

Since then, the program has been successful according to Gould. Utilizing volunteers, their food pantry supplies bags of food for students to take home on the weekend. Once school is out, the weekend bags will stop until next school year.

However, during the summer months, the food pantry will still be available by appointment only. Simply call the school at [207] 897-3355 and leave a message with a name and phone number. The food pantry supplies food to all families with children in the RSU 73 district.


In Farmington, those in the RSU 9 school district can reach out to the RSU 9 Food Pantry. Located at W.G. Mallet School, 116 Middle Street in Farmington, it offers a bag of food once a month on a Wednesday. The dates scheduled for pick up are June 21, July 19, and Aug. 16. The pantry is also only available to families with children in the RSU 9 district.

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 1 Church St. in Jay, has the Community Meals and Food Assistance program, which offers meals and food to members of the community. Eighty takeout and/or dine in meals are prepared and served the first and third Saturday of the month.

The meals are given out on a first come, first serve basis and leftovers are placed in a self-serve refrigerator just inside the entryway of the hall building, which is unlocked between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The church also has a blessing box, a 24/7 box that faces the street in front of the building, which provides food for those who need it, and an opportunity to donate for those who have the means. A similar box is also located in Farmington at St. Joseph Nutrition Center.

St. Joseph Nutrition Center, located on 130 Quebec St in Farmington, offers a food pantry that is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers a variety of food from canned and boxed food to fresh produce, dairy, eggs, and meat. The pantry also offers freshly cooked meals on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about St. Rose of Lima or St. Joseph Nutrition Center, please visit their website at St. Rose of Lima’s phone number is [207] 897-2173 and St. Joseph’s is [207] 778-2778.

Those who are in the Franklin Memorial Hospital network will also find access to their food pantry, located on the hospital campus at 200 Franklin Health Commons in Farmington. The food pantry offers healthier alternatives for their patients as well as classes on cooking for a healthier lifestyle.

Access to the pantry is by referral only, so if you are a patient with Franklin Memorial Hospital, simply talk to your doctor about any food insecurities you may be facing. For more information about the food pantry or their classes, please call [207] 779-2928.

The Greater Franklin Food Council has also been combating food insecurity since 2017 and has a list of other food pantries in the greater franklin area on their website at Listed on “Food Access” under Local Food Resource, the list includes some of the food pantries listed here as well as others in the rest of the county. Some information may be out of date, so if you have any questions, please contact GFFC at their website or contact the respective food pantry to see if they are still active and offering food.

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