Searsport firm pledges 10 months of donations to WCAP Heroes 4 Hunger

Jul 07, 2017
Aaron Pilotte, left, vice president of operations and COO of Maine Biomass Exports Inc., presents WCAP Executive Director Keith Small the first of 10 donations set to occur over the next 10 months.

Mark House, vice president of production at Maine Biomass Exports Inc., Searsport, has pledged $100 a month for 10 months to Waldo Community Action Program’s Heroes 4 Hunger program to help address food insecurity and obesity in Waldo County.

Heroes 4 Hunger aims to alleviate food insecurity and obesity in Waldo County. The WCAP program uses a grassroots approach to deliver its services through strong community partnerships with local businesses, civic groups, municipalities, and families.

Each year, Heroes 4 Hunger must raise $65,000 in local donations to distribute 2,000 boxes of food to families in need during the fall and winter months; 100 percent of the funds received go toward food to fill the boxes. All 26 towns in Waldo County are served, including the island of Islesboro. The food, totaling 36 tons, consists of turkey, vegetables, fruit, grain, and dairy sourced wholesale from local grocery stores.

The program gets its name, “Heroes 4 Hunger,” from the community volunteers and municipal emergency responders such as firemen and ambulance workers who come together to help pack and deliver the boxes twice a year.

“They’re the real muscle behind our food box project,” says Heroes 4 Hunger program coordinator Tabitha Lowe. “You would never believe how many people are willing to show up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to make it happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s icy, snowing, or below-zero temperatures. They’re fearless and they’re infinitely caring about the community we live in.”

Approximately 250-300 people show up to volunteer each year.

In the summer months, Heroes 4 Hunger provides nutrition education to parents of preschool children. They are able to take part in gardening, grocery budgeting, and cooking classes free of charge. Additionally, Heroes 4 Hunger runs a food backpack program for at-risk children from infancy to age 5. Children are sent home with nutritional food and simple recipe cards to help their families during the weekend, when children are less likely to be receiving adequate nutrition, such as that which is provided by their Head Start center during the week.

Maine Biomass Export Inc.’s pledge will total $1,000 at the end of the 10-month period and will be enough to purchase 1,568 pounds of food for 40 Waldo County families.

To learn more about how to help, contact Tabitha Lowe at 207-338-6809, ext. 115, or tlowe@waldocap.org.

Waldo Community Action Partners is a charitable, educational, private nonprofit organization in Belfast. It is designed to utilize and mobilize public and private resources to assist low-income Waldo County residents in the alleviation of poverty and address its underlying causes. WCAP’s mission is to create opportunities for people to improve their quality of life. For more information, visit waldocap.org.

 

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