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Agency on Aging, Catholic Charities partner to distribute food to seniors in need

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many extra meals distribution occasions all through Aroostook County, one program that started years earlier than remains to be going sturdy due to a partnership between Aroostook Company on Growing old and Catholic Charities.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many extra meals distribution occasions all through Aroostook County, one program that started years earlier than remains to be going sturdy due to a partnership between Aroostook Company on Growing old and Catholic Charities.

The Company’s Commodity Supplemental Meals Program started in 2012 to assist price range acutely aware senior residents who’re on mounted Social Safety incomes. Each month volunteers from the company and Catholic Charities companion to distribute meals in areas throughout Aroostook County.

Whereas the company assists individuals with signing up for this system, Catholic Charities delivers and helps distribute meals containers from their Caribou and Monticello warehouses. The containers include shelf-stable milk, canned meats, pasta, juice and cereal in addition to refrigerated cheese.

On Thursday, March 4, volunteers noticed greater than 200 individuals come via the meals line arrange on the Riverside Pavilion on Riverside Drive. 

Dixie Shaw, starvation and reduction companies director for Catholic Charities, chats through the Aroostook Company on Growing old’s commodity meals field distribution on Riverside Drive. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star-Herald)

Dixie Shaw, director of starvation and reduction companies at Catholic Charities, mentioned that though the road was not as giant because the free meals distributions that Catholic Charities has added as a result of pandemic, the excessive turnout for the commodity containers nonetheless displays senior residents’ want for additional meals.

“Even when the minimal wage goes up, seniors’ incomes don’t go up. They’re on Social Safety and stuck incomes,” Shaw mentioned. “They’ve to fret about tips on how to pay for warmth, drugs and meals.”

Each month Catholic Charities assists with Commodity Supplemental Meals distributions in Houlton, Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Caribou, Van Buren and Fort Kent, and companions with pantries in smaller communities to make sure that all seniors signed up for this system have entry to the containers.

After distributions in bigger communities like Presque Isle, volunteers will go away 40 extra containers at the local people middle for anybody who was unable to drive via the road. 

“We all the time have additional containers available to ensure individuals get meals,” Shaw mentioned.

To qualify for the Group Supplemental Meals Program, recipients have to be over the age of 60, have a bodily tackle in Aroostook County and meet this system’s earnings pointers. A family of 1 individual should earn an annual earnings of $16,588 or much less and a family of two will need to have an annual earnings of $22,412 or much less to qualify. Revenue {qualifications} change with every extra family member.

Alicia Schenk, eating and CSFP coordinator, mentioned that the company and Catholic Charities sometimes obtain round 1,750 meals containers from the USDA every month, which practically equals the variety of individuals signed up for this system throughout Aroostook. In Presque Isle no less than 276 households obtain month-to-month containers.

Because of the pandemic the company is encouraging individuals to enroll by telephone quite than cease by in individual. Schenk will be reached at 207-760-1690, after which she’s going to ship a accomplished utility to the residents’ properties for them to signal.

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