At the weekly Rotary meeting on February 10, Houlton Rotarians were honored to welcome Dixie Shaw as their guest speaker.  Dixie Shaw is the Program Director for Hunger and Relief Services of Catholic Charities Maine and oversees the two food banks in Caribou and Monticello.  She also heads the Farm for ME and State Disaster Services for CCM.

 

The food banks in Caribou and Monticello distribute once a month to 25 food pantries in Aroostook County including Saint Mary's and Adopt-a-Block in Houlton.  The food bank warehouse in Monticello also houses the only clothing recycling center in Aroostook County.  Donated clothing is either sold in the thrift stores or recycled to other uses.  The income from the thrift stores and recycled clothing helps to fund the operation of the food banks.

 

Rotarians also learned about the new Farm for ME project started last growing season.  The Farm for ME project came together through funding from the WalMart Foundation, one family's generous offer to allow Farm for ME to use their 200 acres of farmland, and a partnership with Northern Girl of Van Buren to process and store the produce for winter.  Volunteers worked together on this new venture and produced beets, squash, and rutabaga on three acres last year, and the goal is to quadruple production this growing season.  All produce from the farm is distributed by the food banks to the local food pantries here in Aroostook County to help those in need.

 

How can someone be a part of this project of neighbor helping neighbor?  Shop the thrift store, donate food and other items, and volunteer.  The number to call for more information in Presque Isle is 493-8919 and in Monticello 538-4051.  

Houlton Food Bank