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Aroostook Agency on Aging seeks applicants for expanded food program

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Agency on Aging is currently seeking applicants for its commodity supplemental food program that provides the monthly food boxes so crucial for many senior citizens throughout northern Maine. 

In the past, the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, had been approved to serve 400 individuals per month. Since 2017, the agency has received additional funds that have allowed it to expand the program to 1,755 individuals. The program currently serves 1,500 individuals and has room for numerous more applicants.

“Applicants must be at least 60 years old, be a resident of Aroostook County and meet our income guidelines,” said Lisa Clark of the Aroostook Agency on Aging.

People on the commodity supplemental food program are required to have a monthly income that is below $15,782 per year for one person or $21,398 per year for two people. The agency partners with Catholic Charities, which delivers the food boxes to designated locations in Fort Kent, Van Buren, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Mars Hill and Houlton once a month. At these sites, drivers line up as Dixie Shaw, director of Catholic Charities, and volunteer delivery drivers place the food boxes in their vehicles.

Each of the boxes come with non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, peanut butter and cereal as well as milk and a block of cheese.

“For a lot of seniors, the boxes help them get through the rest of the month before they receive food stamps,” Clark said. “We want them to have foods that are nutritious but shelf stable so that it won’t spoil if they need to save some food for the winter months.”

Those who are interested in applying for the commodity supplemental food program can contact the Aroostook Agency on Aging’s health and nutrition office at (207) 764-6185.

This version corrects income guidelines.

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