2017-10-26 / Front Page / JT Beacon

Kennebunk residents can perform double duty on Election Day

Food drive to be held Nov. 7 at Town Hall
Associate Editor

KENNEBUNK — On Nov. 7, many will be heading to the polls to exercise their right to vote. In addition to voting, Kennebunk voters can participate in another civic duty by helping out their fellow residents through donations of food, money or other items.

It’s time to Stuff the Bus, Kennebunk’s General Assistance Administrator Karen Winton said.

The Kennebunk Recreation bus will be parked outside of Town Hall so that voters can stop by as they head to the ballot box and drop off needed non-perishable food, personal supplies or checks or money.

In Maine, 200,000 people suffer from food insecurity, more than 25,000 in York County, according to the hunger-relief organization Feeding America. Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods, according to a statement from Winton.

“There are many things that contribute to food insecurity in Maine and even here in the Kennebunks. We are not immune from people needing help getting enough food to feed themselves and their families,” she said.

The Stuff the Bus food drive will benefit Community Outreach Services, which holds a produce pantry at 9:30 a.m. every Friday at St. Martha’s Parish Hall, 30 Portland Road, Kennebunk. That nonprofit organization provides food to residents of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel. In addition to the Friday produce pantry, residents of the three towns can request a box of food be delivered to their town hall where they can pick it up.

This will be the second year in a row that Kennebunk has held a food drive on Election Day, Winton said. Last year, the first year, it was very successful, she said. Many who didn’t know about the food drive in advance and didn’t have food to donate gave money, she said.

Now that it’s year two and people are more aware of the food drive Winton is hoping it will be even more successful.

Election Day is a good time to hold the food drive, she said. Not only will a lot of people be heading to out at a central location, but also the need is great this time of year.

“The summertime is a just a very busy time,” Winton said. “This is the typical time the shelves are getting low. ... People are strapped for cash” as the holidays are just around the corner and cold weather is expected soon, along with the accompanying high heating bills.

Items needed to stock the pantry include: canned fruit, vegetables and soups, peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, tuna fish, canned chicken and meat, canned ravioli and beef stew, oatmeal, cereal, pancake mix and syrup, instant mashed potatoes, Jell-O, instant pudding, macaroni and cheese, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, beans, granola bars, juice and crackers.

Non-perishable food and monetary donations will be accepted at the Town Hall on Election Day. Checks can be made out to Community Outreach Services.

For more information about the food drive or to volunteer, contact Karen Winton in the General Assistance office at kwinton@kennebunkmaine.us or 604-1342.

— Associate Editor Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324, or dmendros@journaltribune.com.

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