Unity Barn Raisers receive $11,000 grant

By Ben Holbrook | Aug 18, 2012
Courtesy of: Unity Barn Raisers From left: Bunny and Richard Moore of The Open Door, Tess Woods with son Miles. Sara Trunzo of the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry, Deb and Bob Menzone of The Open Door and Bob VanDeventer of the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry at the grant announcement ceremony.

Unity — The Unity Barn Raisers received an $11,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, which it will use to further the organization’s mission of providing local food security within the community.

Unity Barn Raisers will donate a portion of the grant to two other organizations to create a local food-purchasing fund. According to a press release from the organization, $3,000 will be donated to the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry and another $3,000 will be donated to the Open Door Community Table.

Tess Woods, executive director of the Unity Barn Raisers, said the funding is especially timely, as the food pantry and Open Door Community Table are seeing an increase in the demand for food assistance, even as food prices continue to rise.

Woods said the money donated to both organizations will allow them to establish a local food fund to purchase products to fill any gaps in donations.

“We want people to have access to local, fresh foods,” she said.

Unity Barn Raisers will use the remaining money to insure the organization is able to continue providing services to the community. Woods noted that the Unity Community Building, where the Barn Raisers are located, is used by other organizations and locals, and the money from the Gorman Foundation will help with general operating costs associated with the building.

“It [the funding] helps organizations reinvest in their buildings. It ensures the health and well-being of our organization,” Woods said.

Without grant funding, it can be difficult for all three organizations to provide their services, Woods said, because they operate on a shoestring budget. She said there are services the organizations want to provide, but without enough financial support, it can be difficult to do everything they want to do.

The John T. Gorman Foundation focuses on improving the lives of disadvantaged and under-served Maine residents, according to the organization’s website. Money is given by the foundation to “organizations that provide for the fundamental needs of the very poor and those that deliver cancer and mental health services to under-served residents.”

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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