Sawmill workers getting help 

An effort is underway to help those displaced workers and their families.

Recently, a call went out from the United Steelworkers Union to the members of the Maine Labor Council alerting them of the plight of the laid off working men and women of Local 1310 in Ashland after the shut down of Fraser Papers Ashland sawmill and Irving Forest Products sawmill at Nashville Plantation. A group got together and came up with the idea of a food bank.

It’s just us workers that have been laid off who have put it together and we’re just trying to help our co-workers help make ends meet. If we can give them some food until they get through the hard times of finding a new job.

Spooner says the idea behind the food bank is to give the unemployed mill workers one less thing to worry about.

It would help free up some money for them for their house payments and car payments.

Spooner says the food bank will be accepting everything from soup to nuts and then some.

And we’re going to have a building, the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street in Ashland, where we’ll store the food and we would like to open it 2 afternoons a week. We’re kind of working on what’s best for the people there, which 2 days.

The undertaking is just in the beginning stages, according to Spooner. She adds it is looking to join the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Lewiston to get a bulk discount when buying food.

Besides canned and dry goods, meat and dairy products will also be accepted because of the ability to distribute the foods quickly.