The United Way of Eastern Maine is trying to collect nearly 10,000 pounds of food. It’s all part of the 4th Annual Pantry Project. Area companies are collecting food on a monthly basis through April. Wednesday, the kickoff of the project was held at Hollywood Casino in Bangor. All of the food collected goes to the Good Shepherd Food Bank. ” People are making decisions on whether they’re going to heat their house or eat, and we like to make that decision as easy as possible,” said Adam Lacher, director of communications for the United Way of Eastern Maine. ” All of our partner agencies are reporting increases of 30-50% of the number of families coming to them and these are new families cycling in. Families that never thought they would have to turn for support,” said Melissa Huston, development associate with Good Shepherd Food Bank. In 2012, more than 6,700 pounds of non-perishable food was collected through the Pantry Project. This year, the goal is 9,500 pounds. For more information on the Pantry Project, click here. To learn more about the Good Shepherd Food Bank, click here.