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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.

dead river donationOHI President and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie-Jean Brooks (left) accepts a $500 donation from Dacia Mason, Dead River Company Brewer branch manager.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – Dead River Company surprised the Brewer Area Food Pantry with a $500 donation during a food drive Oct. 30-31.

At the end of the two days, Brewer residents donated more than 743 pounds and $666 for the food pantry during the fundraiser in the Save-A-Lot parking lot.

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.”

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – OHI was recently awarded a $2,130 grant from Good Shepherd Food Bank for capacity building at the Brewer Area Food Pantry.

The grant will be used to complete a kitchen in the food pantry and purchase cookware to hold nutritional cooking classes in the facility.

The Brewer Area Food Pantry serves residents in Brewer and Eddington. 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.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The John T. Gorman Foundation recently awarded a $20,000 grant to OHI to increase recovery for people with mental illness while decreasing isolation through enhancing social integration and opportunities for recreation, and development and maintenance of natural and peer supports.

People with serious and persistent mental illness recover more successfully when they access peer and natural supports, said Rayma Chairell, mental health services team coordinator. Mental illness symptoms often include isolation, social anxiety and difficulty establishing relationships with others. Studies show similar risk factors of social disconnection as with smoking 15 cigarettes a day and twice as dangerous as obesity (as found by a meta-analysis of 148 studies by Brigham Young University). Through this grant, OHI intends to increase the availability of peer supports and develop natural supports for people it supports with mental illness to encourage them to more likely succeed in recovery and become less reliant upon paid services.

community matters more donation June 2015Rich Romero, OHI resource developer, accepts a check on behalf of OHI’s Brewer Area Food Pantry from Catherine L. Maher, Bangor Savings Bank vice president, Brewer branch manager.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The Brewer Area Food Pantry received $1,000 from Bangor Savings Bank recently from its foundation’s 2015 Community Matters More Campaign.

Each year, through Community Matter More, the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation gives a total of $100,000 to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations by asking Maine citizens to cast votes for the organizations that matter most to them. Forty-eight nonprofits from all over Maine are chosen to appear on the ballot, and there is also a write-in option to cast a vote for a nonprofit that doesn’t appear on the ballot. The top vote-getters in each of eight geographical areas each receive $5,000 grants, while the remaining 40 nonprofits and 20 write-in candidates with the most votes each receive $1,000.

bsb thank youFrom left to right: Brenda Leavitt, OHI project manager; Bonnie-Jean Brooks, OHI president and chief executive officer; and Deb Smith, director of intellectual disability services.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to OHI to establish a Clubhouse for adults with mental illness in Ellsworth.

“It’s only because of support such as that of the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation and many other community members, businesses and partners that we’re able to explore evidence-based models of providing services to inspire people to recognize possibilities and lead meaningful lives,” said Kathy Smith, OHI assistant chief executive officer.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The Maine Community Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to OHI to upgrade its information technology infrastructure based upon a thorough independent assessment.

The Penobscot Valley Health Association Fund of the Maine Community Foundation at the recommendation of the Penobscot Country Committee advisors funded the grant, according to Amy Pollien, grants manager.

By Rich Romero
OHI Resource Developer

OHI, HERMON, Maine – The Brewer Area Food Pantry has been selected for inclusion on the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s 2015 Community Matters More ballot. As one of 48 Maine organizations listed on the ballot, the BAFP will receive a $1,000 grant and will be in the running for a top award of $5,000.

Please help OHI achieve the top award for the Brewer Area Food Pantry simply by voting online Feb. 1-28.