Boxes of food at the Food Cupboard of Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls are segmented into different family sizes, from individual to a family of six. These, as seen on Thursday, June 8, are partially filled until a family arrives, then it has meat and frozen goods added to it. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

JAY — St. Rose of Lima, located at 1 Church St., has a lot to offer its community. On top of mass, confessional and funeral services, the church also has its Parish Social Ministry, which offers multiple programs to help feed and care for the community.

On the website, St. Rose of Lima describes the Parish Social Ministry as “community outreach arm of our two parishes.” The first is St. Rose of Lima and the other is St. Joseph’s of Farmington. Their list of objectives for the outreach program includes providing food, water, clothes, and comfort for the sick and imprisoned.

Volunteers fill boxes with food at the Food Cupboard of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls on Thursday, June 8. Boxes are already premade to meet demand, but with a family of 15 on the way, the volunteers had to think fast to make sure they had enough food. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

To accomplish these goals, St. Rose of Lima is working with the Food Cupboard of Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls [FCJLLF] to help provide food for the community. Originally a part of the Tri-Town Ministerial Association Food Pantry, the FCJLLF branched off to form its own non-profit separate from the church.

Working with Hannaford, Good Shepard Food Bank, and Food City, the pantry offers a variety of food items such as meat, produce, dairy, bread, boxed food and canned goods that are portioned out according to number of individuals in a family unit.

The hours of operation for the pantry are from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Tuesday, the pantry also has an additional time slot of 6 to 8 p.m. to help accommodate different schedules.

Since becoming the FCJLLF in November of last year, the number of individuals seeking help with food insecurity has risen dramatically. In January, the pantry saw 258 individuals come into the pantry. In April, that number had risen to 339 and in May, it reached 424 individuals.


The pantry currently has roughly 50 volunteers, based on volunteer Nancy Grimaldi’s estimates, but they are always seeking more help.

“I was retired,” Grimaldi stated. “I retired eight years ago and didn’t want to just sit home and so I started a couple of days a month.”

Across the hall from the pantry is St. Rose’s Thrift Shop, which offers a wide array of donations for people seeking clothing and other household items. Open on Tuesdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the thrift shop provides a budget-friendly shopping location featuring clothes, household items, and limited furniture.

According to Dan Allen, the pantry also helps bring in more shoppers for the thrift store. “They’re a great complement to what we do,” he said.

Bernadette Astrella, left, and Terry Cullenberg, right, cut and package bread for distribution on Thursday, June 8. Originally sold in wholesale, customers can now buy directly from them through an online ordering service. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Downstairs, Ora Bread fills the building with the aroma of freshly baked bread. Offering several different types of bread, including wheat, sourdough and ever seasonal bread, Ora Breads helps bring in more income for the parish, which helps fund the Fuel, Food, Fiber Fund according to Dan Allen.

Ora Bread currently sells bread wholesale to Food City and other health food stores, but they are expanding to allow community members to order directly through

More expansion is to come as Ora Bread has selected Bernadette Astrella as head baker for the business. “They hired me so I can, we can up the volume of bread,” Astrella said. “So, we’re trying to get more accounts now.”

“It’s all for a good cause,” Terry Cullenberg added.

For more information about Ora Breads, St. Rose’s Thrift Shop and Food Cupboard of Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls, please visit or call them at [207] 897-2173

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