By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – Brewer High School kicked off a school-wide food drive Nov. 9 to support the Brewer Area Food Pantry with a goal of collecting 2015 items.

This 10-day food drive is one of three being conducted at the Brewer high and community schools.

Arthur Libby, BHS Key Club and National Honor Society advisor, organized school clubs, groups and programs in joining together to lead the effort and issue the school-wide challenge. Meeting the goal will result in a reward for students such as an ice cream social. Participating groups include the Art Club, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Student Council, National Honor Society, Jobs for Maine Graduates, student athletes and Student Health Advisory Board.

“I’m very proud of the students and staff and how they have challenged each other to collect 2015 items of food for the community,” said Cheri Towle, Brewer School District superintendent. “The students and staff sense of caring only strengthens our community and provides much needed assistance during the holiday season.”

In addition at the Brewer Community School, Dennis McGrath’s fifth-grade class holds a school-wide turkey drive while Alexandra Ricker’s Jobs for Maine Graduates students organize a school-wide food drive which begins after the Thanksgiving school break and ends before the Christmas break.

Since the Brewer Area Food Pantry opened in November 2013, Brewer schools have donated more than 3,100 pounds of food, 110 turkeys and more than $860 through various fundraisers and food drives.

Currently, the BAFP regularly supports an average of 119 local families with more than 4,200 pounds of
supplemental food while emphasizing nutritional foods, particularly fresh vegetables and fruit. An average of 15 additional households use the BAFP each month for the first time.

“The students of the Brewer school system epitomize the very best example of community service,” said
Bonnie-Jean Brooks, OHI president and chief executive officer. “The school systems’ focus on community service is extraordinary. The leadership is to be commended for the example these young students are exhibiting to their parents and other community members. We should all give thanks to these community leaders of tomorrow.”

OHI owns and operates both the Brewer Area Food Pantry and Bonnie’s Bargain Basement, a thrift shop that “turns deals into meals.” Proceeds from sales at the thrift shop are used to support the food pantry along with donations such as these from the community.

For more information about the Brewer schools efforts, contact Cheri Towle, Brewer School District superintendent, at [email protected] or 989-3160. For more information about the Brewer Area Food Pantry, contact Rich Romero at 605-1218 or [email protected].

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