An update and a request to HELP

The leaves are changing colors, and we are spending our days preparing for the next cold Maine winter. Yet before we completely close the book on this summer, I would like to offer a brief update on both Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner, Maine and Everyday Basics Essential’s Pantry at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Augusta, Maine.

Earlier this summer we learned that Long Meadow Farm was offering an opportunity to stretch WIC or SNAP dollars by allowing six families to use them to purchase shares in the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Farmers Denis Thoet and Michele Roy reported last month that the program had gone well this summer.

Denis wrote: ” Yes, we do have six SNAP shares/members, and the program is going well. Payments are made monthly or bimonthly through the season, as people can afford them. We hope that we will be able to continue the program next year, and are exploring the idea on a non-grant supported SNAP membership.”

Earlier this summer we also wrote about Everyday Basics Essentials Pantry offering the gift of love and dignity through everyday basics.   The Rev. Rebecca Grant is the coordinator of the program, and she recently wrote that the need for everyday necessities is at an all time high.

In 2010 there were 1,673 people who visited and received essential items.  As of October 1st the pantry has already served 1,690 people.   This past Saturday alone the pantry had 143 visitors, which was an all time high.  While Everyday Basics acknowledges that it is wonderful that the pantry is able to serve that many people, it is also a challenge and their supplies have been depleted.

This outreach ministry in the Kennebec Valley region serves people from a widespread area including Farmington,Waterville, Whitefield, Winthrop, Manchester, Augusta, Gardiner, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Chelsea and many other areas.  There is no residency requirement to receive any essential items from the pantry.  The one requirement is that the individual be present to receive the items.

In a letter issued to the community today, Senior Warden Joseph Riddick wrote on behalf of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church asking You to Help. 

You can help.  Everyday Basics accept donations of toilet paper, bar soap, powdered laundry detergent, diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6), diaper wipes, and feminine hygiene products at St. Mark’s Church.  The church office is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8-12.   On Saturday, October 15th we will be at the church starting at 8 am accepting donations for Everyday Basics. 

You can help.  Everyday Basics accepts financial donations for the program.  Checks, cash, gift cards are all used for the dedicated purpose for which they are given.   Checks should be written to: Everyday Basics – St. Mark’s Church.  They can be mailed to: St. Mark’s Church, 9 Summer St, Augusta, ME 04330.

You can help.  Everyday Basics invites your church, community group or business to adopt a product and supply it to Everyday Basics on an ongoing basis.

You can help your neighbors.  Everyday Basics is thankful for the strong support they have had in the past and appreciate your continued support as they continue to help those in need in the Kennebec Valley.

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