Millinocket, ME – St. Martin’s Pantry at Christ the Divine Mercy parish is the recipient of Catholic Charities’ Matthew 25 Award for 2012. After reviewing numerous applications, the local food pantry and fuel assistance program was selected based on meeting immediate needs of a community and directly serving vulnerable people in need regardless of faith. “The area’s sparse resources as well as the fact that assistance is given with true care and concern, also helped their application rise to the top,” said Annette Rioux of the Catholic Charities Parish Social Ministry Staff.
The custom-crafted stained glass award and check for $5,000 will be presented at the 4:00 pm vigil Mass on Saturday, June 23rd at St. Martin’s Church by Catholic Charities CEO Stephen Letourneau, Associate Director Bonnie Bagley and Rioux. A celebratory supper in the Church hall will immediately follow.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” noted David Oliver, pantry coordinator. “Our share of the non-perishable foods collected during the recent postal carriers' drive was down by 30%. Demand on the pantry and the fuel assistance programs have increased, all while parishioners' financial support and food donations have declined,” He added.
The Parish plans to use the funds to help put privacy measures in place for persons served by the pantry. The money will also be used to purchase food vouchers for use at local stores for perishable items, fuel assistance and even a new computer system is being considered to help keep track of food supplies, disbursements, program participant data and eligibility and other statistics necessary to the pantry and fuel assistance programs’ operation.
During the pantry's fiscal year 2011-2012 the pantry distributed 12,245 pounds of food (or more than six tons) to 114 families. That figures out to 12 pounds per person. During that same period $18,215.62 worth of fuel was given out to 88 families. The programs serve the Katahdin Region communities up to and including Woodville. The average age of those served is 46. 17 percent of those served are under 22 and 15.7 percent are over 50.
The Matthew 25 award is presented annually by Catholic Charities to a parish that closely adheres to the principles of the Bible verse Matthew: 25 - "I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink..." This is the second year this award will be given. Last year’s winner was St. Anne’s Church in Dexter for “Our Lady’s Kitchen” where they serve a loving community dinner on Sundays to anyone who comes.
Contact: Kathy Mockler, Catholic Charities Maine, 781-8550 / [email protected]
For over 45 years, Catholic Charities has provided high-quality, community-based, social services to people of all faiths, beliefs, and economic backgrounds. As one of the largest human service agencies in the state, we are committed to helping children and adults overcome adversity and achieve self-sufficiency. To learn more, please visit www.ccmaine.org or call 1-800-781-8550.