365 days a year, the brick building on the corner of Main and Cedar in Bangor is providing more than just a place to sleep at night.
“Food is critical. People are making tough choices out there who come here. We’ve heard those lines over and over and over again, but it’s no less true now,” said Denis Marble, Executive Director.
The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter opens their food pantry twice a week, runs a soup kitchen, and provides three meals a day to the people staying there.
The last thing they want to see is space on their shelves. They estimate that they put out 35,000 meals a year. Their budget: zero.
“We need help with food. Our inventory is down lower than I’ve seen it in years,” said Marble.
“It’s very bare. I’ve not seen it like this before. It’s sad but we help as many people as we can. It’s sad when come three o’clock because the food cupboard is from one to four, and we have to close at three o’clock because we don’t have anymore to give out,” said Margaret Guiod, a volunteer.
“I not only distribute the food, but I come here to get food also. So, it’s definitely been a help to me and to a lot of people,” said Guiod.
They’re making a plea to the community to bring in anything they can, big or small. There are two national food drives next month, but their concern is immediate and long-term.
“Organizations like Scouts, and public schools, if they could do a food drive from now until the beginning of the school year, I think that would get us through the summer ok,” said Marble.
They say there is always someone there to accept donations, deliveries, even leftovers from special events.
“Oh, yeah. Bring a pizza, bring a ten foot sub, you can bring finger sandwiches. Whatever. It’ll all go to good places,” said Marble.
“If you just sit back and think about it, what it takes someone to somehow get themselves to a homeless shelter , for food to take home, that too speaks very clearly about what the need is,” said Marble.