“I think it just gives a little extra for people who can’t get out as frequently to grocery stores,” said Marsha Mushrall, the co-president of Bucksport Community Concerns. The food pantry is now participating in a program that gives out 30 pounds of food a month to low-income people aged 60 and above. PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

Bucksport food pantry offers new programs

BUCKSPORT — The Bucksport Community Concerns food pantry has provided emergency supplies of food to local families since 1972. But this year, the organization is starting a new program for low-income people aged 60 and over.

“They can get 30 pounds of food monthly,” said Marsha Mushrall, the co-president of Bucksport Community Concerns (BCC). She opened a cardboard box filled with oats, powdered milk, peanut butter, canned mixed fruit, canned green beans, canned peas, canned tuna and macaroni noodles. The supplies aren’t enough to last a month, but they can at least help out older people who can’t move around so easily.

“I think it just gives a little extra for people who can’t get out as frequently to grocery stores,” Mushrall said.

The program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodities Supplemental Food Program. According to the program’s website, it “works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods.”

The Eastern Area Agency on Aging manages the program in eastern Maine. Last month, BCC became one of the program’s newest distribution sites. When people sign up for the free program, they can either pick up their boxes at the Elm Street Congregational Church, on the corner of Elm and Franklin streets, or have BCC deliver it to their address.

Mushrall said people who sign up for this program can still get food from the pantry every month and use food stamps. Last month, over 40 people in Bucksport and Orland received food from the program, and Mushrall hopes there will be more to come.

“The people who are getting it are appreciative,” Mushrall said.

Last Tuesday, BCC also hosted a Good Shepherd Food Mobile. Bucksport, Orland and Verona Island residents who are interested in signing up for the Commodities Supplemental Food Program need to fill out an application to participate.

The application can be found at the food pantry, which is located at 31 Elm St. in Bucksport. The food pantry is open each Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and on the second Monday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Mushrall said if people can’t make it to the food pantry, they can call Anita Merritt, from the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, at (800) 432-7812, or call Mushrall at 469-2400.

David Roza

David Roza

Former reporter, David Roza grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and covered news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.

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