Helping Those in Need; Governor Thanks Mainers for their Kindness

November 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Blaine House food donations to be delivered to Ellsworth Shelter

AUGUSTA – In an effort to encourage Mainers to get into the spirit of giving, Governor Paul LePage will deliver food donations to one of Maine’s neediest communities. The Governor will donate several hundred pounds of food Thursday to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Ellsworth.

The Emmaus Center, located on the corner of Main and Water Street in Ellsworth, opened its doors to its first residents on February 25, 1992. The 25 bed shelter is currently at full capacity, according to its director, Sister Lucille MacDonald. “The Emmaus Center is one of the only family shelters in the area. Right now, we are serving four families with seven children and we always have a waiting list,” Sister MacDonald says.

The food items will be delivered to the shelter Thursday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. and were donated through the generosity of hundreds of Mainers who visited the Blaine House in October and November. Governor LePage and the First Family hosted open houses on October 22, October 29, and November 5. On those dates, the public was asked to donate non-perishable food items in exchange for a tour of the Blaine House.

“I would like to thank the many people who came to the Blaine House and thought of those who have hit a rough patch in their lives. These donations will mean so much. I know, I was in their shoes once,” the Governor said. “Many Mainers are facing financial difficulties these days. With rising heating prices and cuts to our Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) there is a growing need for assistance. I’m proud to do what I can to make things a little easier on the people who need it most right now,” said Governor LePage.

Additionally, Hannaford has graciously offered to donate 50 of their “Helping Hands” boxes to the Governor which will also be given to the Emmaus Center. The Helping Hands Box program allows Hannaford shoppers to donate ten dollars which pays for a box that includes a number of items such as peanut butter, oatmeal, chicken noodle soup and rice.

Sister MacDonald noted, ‘The Emmaus Homeless Shelter is very grateful that Governor LePage has selected us to be one of the recipients of the food. In addition, Hannaford’s donation of 50 Helping Hands Boxes will certainly assist us in fulfilling the 100+ requests already received and we know that number will continue to grow in the next few weeks. We are very appreciative of the Governor’s commitment to assist individuals and families in the state who are going through difficult times. Knowing they will have food on their tables for the holidays is comforting.”

With help from the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, the Office of the Governor determined three towns in Maine in need of assistance with regards to food. Those towns are in Alfred, Ellsworth and Presque Isle. The food collected during the Blaine House open houses will be divided equally and distributed to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Ellsworth, Sister Mary O’Donnell Shelter in Presque Isle, and the York County Shelters Program in Alfred. The Governor would also like to extend thanks to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank for providing a truck and driver to deliver the food donations to the Emmaus Center on Thursday.