FEMA to help feed Aroostook County

12 years ago

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Mike Michaud and Sen. Susan Collins recently announced that Aroostook County has been awarded supplemental funding through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which is administered by the United Way of America; Aroostook County will receive $10,000.

“I’m pleased this critical funding has been released,” said Michaud. “Maine’s food pantries and shelters do tremendous work, but they can only do so much with the limited resources available to them. I’m hopeful this funding will provide them with the additional resources they need to help more Mainers.”

The grant program is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Sen. Collins is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee which has jurisdiction over FEMA; the dollars will help fund shelters and food distribution through food pantries and soup kitchens to provide emergency food for hungry people, many of whom are working families and seniors who must put paying for fuel and medication before food.

“The weak economy has been tough on families across the country and Maine is no exception,” said Sen. Collins. “We have seen an increase in students who qualify for free lunch, high unemployment, and less food going to more people at our food pantries. We think of FEMA as helping Americans recover from storms, but, in this case, these grants will help Mainers ride out our struggling economy.”

“We are extremely pleased that Aroostook County is receiving the extra $10,000 from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program which will be used to assist Catholic Charities Food Bank for the purchase of food to assist the 25 food pantries in the Aroostook County area,” said Claudia Stevens, executive Director of the United Way of Aroostook. “Sadly, Maine has the sixth highest rate of hunger in the nation. We are a vastly rural county with an unemployment rate which is significantly higher than the state average. These funds will help feed Aroostook County’s neediest people.”