SKOWHEGAN, MAINE - April 29, 2020 Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation rises to help overcome the challenge that Mainers are facing with food availability during COVID-19 by donating $30,000 to 28 local food bank programs that serve central and western Maine.
“In this time of uncertainty, we know there are many Maine families facing financial hardships in our communities. Being able to put food on the table, shouldn’t be one. If we can directly support these local food programs in a manner that can alleviate some of the stress families are experiencing over food scarcity, then we’re here to help.”
- David Cyr, president and CEO of Skowhegan Savings Bank
“We serve residents in Skowhegan and each distribution we are seeing increased numbers, serving roughly 400-500 individuals within 250 households monthly,” said Jennifer Grenier, president of the Skowhegan Food Cupboard. “The need right now is greater than ever and the donation from Skowhegan Savings will help us be able to continue to provide food for these individuals as the need continues to grow.”
Prior to COVID-19, according to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 200,000 Mainers rely on food agencies with one in five children considered food insecure in 2019.
“Maine ranks 12th in the United States in food insecurity, a sobering statistic that doesn’t escape our community,” said Bob Moore, executive director of the Augusta Food Bank.
The Augusta Food Bank serves an average of 350 households per month. Their Weekend KidsPaks program provides 750 healthy meals to local school children weekly and they participate in a FoodShare Program that supplies food to partners to prepare meals for over 1,000 individuals a month.
“Skowhegan Savings Bank's generous gift will help provide nearly 3,000 meals to our hungry neighbors.”
- Bob Moore, Executive Director of the Augusta Food Bank
With schools closing unexpectedly due to COVID-19 concerns, many of the state’s backpack programs, that provide students with healthy meals outside of school, quickly depleted their on-hand resources.
Volunteer staff drivers prepare to deliver bags of food to the homes of 600 children
in the MSAD #54 school district as part of The Skowhegan Food Backpack Program.
“With the abrupt school closure, we had to empty the food pantries at every school to make the first round of bags,” said Chelsey Carrier, of the Skowhegan Backpack Program which serves 600 children bi-weekly in the MSAD #54 school district.
“The generous donation from the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation is life-changing for our program. These funds will help purchase needed items for these emergency food bags and re-stock school pantries when school begins again.”
Donations, of a thousand dollars or more, were made to each of the following programs:
- Center Point Community Food Pantry – Anson
- Augusta Food Bank – Augusta
- Belgrade-Rome Special Needs Food Pantry – Belgrade
- St. Peter Thrift Shop & Food Pantry – Bingham
- Canaan Community Food Bank – Canaan
- Town of Carthage Food Cupboard – Carthage
- Cornville/Athens Food Cupboard – Cornville
- Town of Dexter Food Assistance Program – Dexter
- Fairfield Interfaith Food Pantry – Fairfield
- FAEM Care & Share Food Bank – Farmington
- Tri-Town Food Cupboard – Hartland
- Clearwater Ministry Food Pantry – Industry
- Jackman Food Cupboard – Jackman
- Tri-Town Ministerial Food Cupboard – Jay
- Greater Franklin Development Council Kingfield Schools Food Assistance Program - Kingfield
- People Who Care Food Cupboard – Madison
- Town of Norridgewock Food Assistance Program – Norridgewock
- Norridgewock Community Food Program - Norridgewock
- Sargent Family Community Fund – Rangeley
- United Methodist Economic Ministry Food Bank – Salem Township
- Skowhegan Community Food Cupboard – Skowhegan
- Skowhegan Backpack Program – Skowhegan
- Smithfield Food Pantry – Smithfield
- Solon Community Food Cupboard – Solon
- Starks Food Cupboard – Starks
- Stratton/Eustis Food Pantry – Stratton
- Alfond Youth and Community Center - Waterville
- Wilton Area Food Pantry – Wilton
“By the middle of March, we realized that COVID-19 was exceptionally serious and that it was going to have a major and very negative impact on the year-round residents here in the Rangeley region,’ said Craig Sargent, owner of Sarge’s Sports Pub and Grub.
Within a few moments, the Rangeley community joined forces to provide meals for senior citizens and people in financial need. Sarge’s Sports Pub and Grub, Bald Mountain Camps, Forks in the Air, The Shed, 45th Parallel, Rangeley Health and Wellness, The Red Onion Restaurant, Rangeley IGA and numerous volunteers teamed up to create the ‘Sargent Family Community Fund’ with additional donations from Poland Springs and Sysco to currently serve approximately 1,200 people a week with warm meals.
“This donation from Skowhegan Savings Bank will allow us to serve an additional 200 meals to area residents and is very much appreciated. Thank you to the Rangeley branch, Skowhegan Savings’ president, David Cyr, and their entire team as well.”
“It is amazing what we can do as a community when we team up together," said Cyr. "It just takes innovation and a conversation between us on ‘how can we help?’ to continue efforts to make our communities a better place to work and live and during this time. We’re honored to be able to be there for our communities and customers as we can.”
About the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation
Skowhegan Savings' charitable giving program makes donations to both large and small local nonprofit and charitable organizations, with a focus on financial literacy programs and economic and community development, including programs that promote job creation, business retention, business growth, and community enhancement. To apply for funding, visit Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation.
About Skowhegan Savings
Skowhegan Savings Bank has been dedicated to strengthening Maine's families, businesses, and communities by providing personalized and competitive banking services to the regions they serve for 150 years. An independent mutual savings bank based in Skowhegan, our mission is to provide customers with exceptional service in an innovative banking environment that effectively and efficiently puts the financial needs of the customer first. Skowhegan Savings takes pride in not only being a great place to bank but also a great place to work. For more information about Skowhegan Savings, please visit Skowhegan.com or contact our Customer Service line at 800.303.9511.