Volunteers Help Brewer Non-Profit Feed Mainers for Thanksgiving 

Scrubbing potatoes is a job some people dread.

Martha Schoendorf is happy to clean as many as she can.

She’s one of the many volunteers helping with Food and Medicine’s Solidarity Harvest.

“I volunteer to give back, because they gave to me and my family,” said Schoendorf.

For the eleventh year, the non-profit is putting together bags of food to be given to families all over Maine for Thanksgiving.

“We partner, first and foremost with unions, all over the state, that’s how the project got started, and so we work with those unions to find laid off workers, and other members, that might be able to use our support, and then we also work with a lot of childcare providers, and other groups, to find other families who are facing hard times,” said Erin Sweeney, agricultural organizer for Food and Medicine.

Four years ago, Schoendorf was facing hard times after being injured on the job and later found support from the group.

“It was really an inspiration for me, really, to try and do more for my community,” said Schoendorf.

Helping others is something these co-workers from Acadia Insurance Company are doing together.

“Our position, we’re traveling throughout the state, and we get to see parts of the state that do need extra help, and so it’s very good to be able to help out with folks in need, families, children,” said Chris Colello of Acadia Insurance Company.

More than a thousand families will get bags stuffed with food, including all of those scrubbed potatoes.

“It’s easy to forget that there are so many folks out there that are struggling, and could use support, and this project really helps us focus on allowing people to forget that for a day and enjoy a beautiful meal together,” said Sweeney.

Volunteers will be delivering meals until early next week.