Help for Area Food Pantries 

Demand for services at food pantries goes up during summer months, when children are out of school.Today, two food pantries in each county of the state received 500 dollars, thanks to grassroots campaigns at local credit unions. There was applause as the Maine Credit Union League handed out the checks. “With the economy the way it is, you hear about fundraising challenges, but I tell you, people are more generous than ever,” says Jon Paradise of the Maine Credit Union League.The folks at Bucksport Community Concerns say it’s the generosity of local people that help keep them open.”Somebody will just walk in and give us 100 dollars. They won’t tell us their names – they’ll say ‘We don’t need any acknowledgement, just take it, and use it,'” say volunteers, Linda Hayward and Marsha Mushrall.The need at their pantry remains steady this year.”We have a turnover, different families who didn’t come before find they have to come now,” Mushrall says.The Good Shepherd Food Bank says, as a whole, the need from their member pantries is still growing.”Ours is growing by about 40 families a month. We’ve had a lot of layoffs in our town,” says Ted Ivey, president of the Town of Ludlow Food Pantry, which serves 18 communities.The pantries will use the money to stock up at Good Shepherd, where every dollar buys $12.50 worth of food.”For like 67 dollars you can get a truck of food. They provide a lot of food for us – it really stretches the dollars we have,” say Hayward and Mushrall.”It gives us more money to buy with,” Ivey says.Monday, the thanks went back to food pantry volunteers and the ability of others to help when needed.”They feel fortunate in their own lives,” says Mushrall, “and they want to help somebody else.”