United Way of Androscoggin County Raises $27,000 for Area Food Pantries

April 13, 2021 – LEWISTON, ME – United Way of Androscoggin County, which serves both Androscoggin and Oxford counties, recently wrapped up a successful Day of Giving donation campaign to benefit area food pantries.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $10,000 to help rural food pantries purchase food to help meet the increased needs in the communities they serve. Donations to the campaign were matched with a separate $10,000 gift from the COVID-19 Response Fund.

“Food insecurity continues to be a challenge in our state, especially in rural areas where lack of transportation creates additional barriers for individuals and families in need,” said Joleen Bedard, Executive Director of United Way of Androscoggin County. “This targeted fundraiser helped us raise awareness of food insecurity in the counties we serve, and the matching donation effectively made the donations we received go twice as far!”

Thanks to the generosity of local donors, the Day of Giving campaign raised $27,000 including the matching gift. The funds were divided equally and distributed to Leeds Food Pantry and Lisbon Area Food Pantry in Androscoggin County, and Servant’s Heart Food Pantry and Helping Hands Food Pantry in Oxford County.

Rowe Auburn utilized the Day of Giving fundraiser as an opportunity for employees to form teams to see who could raise the most money in a short period of time, with a pledge that Rowe would match employee donations, up to $2,500. Their internal fundraiser surpassed expectations, and General Manager Dave Spiller presented United Way with a check for $6,116.

“The Leeds Food Pantry, located in the outskirts of Androscoggin County, is a mission of the Leeds Community Church and is financed solely by donations received by church and community friends, local businesses, and grant funds,” said Sue Jewett, Leeds Food Pantry director. “We are truly grateful for this generous donation from United Way which will cover our food expenses for at least three months.”

In Oxford County, the funds will have a tremendous impact for Servant’s Heart Food Pantry in Peru. “This donation will provide us with twelve months of food,” said Karen Eastman, Servant’s Heart Food Pantry director. “Each family we serve will receive fourteen meals a month.