Be the Hero . . .

Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Food share _.jpg

Tom Merchant

Sentinel Tribune

westbrook — You can be a Hunger Hero by donating money and food items to your local food shelf. In the Westbrook area your donations of cash and food will help to feed more than 50 families a month. That is how many families use Mary and Martha’s Pantry food shelf in Westbrook. The food shelf distributed over 40,850 pounds of food in 2012, served a total of 2,080 individuals, and a total of 471 households were served also.

According to Margaret Palan, Community Resource Specialist, volunteers contributed a total of 1,911 hours in 2012. She said, “We couldn’t keep our food shelves open without the great help from our volunteers! They are the best! We are always looking for more volunteers to shop with clients or unload the food truck from Second Harvest once a month on a Thursday.”

After meeting eligibility requirements, clients are allowed to visit once a month if needed. Senior citizen numbers are up, serving an average of 18 a month, age 65 and over. Income eligibility is 200 percent of the Federal Poverty level.

Volunteers and families are asking your help and continuing support of gifts in money, food, time, talent or treasures.

During Minnesota FoodShare month all donations are spread further through the generosity of the Feinstein Foundation. The foundation, in addition to coordinating FoodShare Month, also distributes money to food shelves state wide through a “Food Fund”. FoodShare works year round to get donations from corporations, individuals, foundations and businesses. One hundred percent of all donations received in March go directly to the fund as well. Dollars from the fund are distributed to local food shelves based on the numbers of individuals served. Local donations stay local.

Foundation benefactor Allan Feinstein will give one million dollars back to the food shelves across the country. Participating food shelves will receive money from the foundation divided proportionately in full among agencies receiving donations toward this offer. When asked why he continues to do this, he states that “my money started this campaign but it is you who will help decide how many hungry people in your town will be fed this year. All that will matter to us someday is what we did while we were here to help those who needed us”.