By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The Brewer Area Food Pantry holds a food drive 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 in the parking lot of Save-A-Lot at 87 South Main Street in Brewer.

With the food drive taking place just before and on Halloween, treats bags will be provided to children who accompany parents to donate.

“The food pantry depends upon donations to help our neighbors in need,” said Brenda Leavitt, OHI project manager and food pantry co-manager. “As typical, donations tend to dwindle during the summer. As we gear up for the upcoming holiday basket season, we hope people will give from the heart and for the heart – food that is nutritious and healthy.”

Items that fit well into the food pantry’s effort to distribute more nutritious foods include low-sodium soups, sauces and canned vegetables; whole wheat pasta; whole grain cereals; natural peanut butter; canned tuna and chicken in water; brown rice; low sugar oatmeal; and vegetarian baked beans.

“We would really like to be able to include fresh squash and other root vegetables in holiday baskets this year rather than canned vegetables,” Leavitt said. “While it’s not something people tend to think to donate to a food drive, we will more than gladly accept squash and root vegetables specifically for holiday baskets.”

The Brewer Area Food Pantry serves residents in Brewer and Eddington only. Currently, an average of 119 households receive more than 4,200 pounds of food each month through the food pantry. In addition, 15 new households a month on average register to use the facility.

Donations are always accepted at the food pantry, located at 222 North Main Street, during operating hours 10 a.m. to noon the first four Mondays and Wednesdays each month.

For more information, call Leavitt at 605-1208 or Rich Romero, resource developer, at 605-1218.

OHI is a Hermon-based nonprofit providing residential and community-based supports and services to adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. It supports nearly 400 people in six Maine counties and employs nearly 350 people. It also owns and operates the Brewer Area Food Pantry and Bonnie’s Bargain Basement, “Turning Deals into Meal,” a thrift shop intended to financially support the food pantry. The food pantry provided more than 50,500 pounds of food to food insecure households in 2014.

The Brewer Area Food Pantry is a partner agency of Good Shepherd Food Bank. As the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to 600 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, and youth programs. Together with its network, the food bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education and strategic partnerships. In 2014, the food bank distributed 17.5 million meals to families, children and seniors in need throughout Maine.

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