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Updated: April 20, 2020

42 Maine nonprofits awarded $100K in Machias Savings grants

People at the Locker Project assembling food products (mainly fruit) Courtesy / Locker Project The Locker Project will use a $2,500 grant from Machias Savings Bank to cover increased staff time and food costs during the crisis. Pictured here are Karen Coffin, Portland branch manager for Machias Savings, and Stephen Perazone, Locker Project distribution manager.
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The Locker Project, a nonprofit working to get healthy food to children and families in greater Portland during the pandemic, will receive a helping hand from Machias Savings Bank in the form of a $2,500 grant.

The group is one of 42 Maine nonprofits that will benefit from the bank's Rapid Response Grant program, which awarded a total of $100,000 last week.

Out of more than 100 groups that had applied for funding, 42 will receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each to cope with the ongoing public crisis.

Beneficiaries from around the state center largely around managing food insecurity, services for the aging and isolated, community action programs and emergency response teams.

"Our goal with this program was to be able to provide quick support for organizations that are lifting up their communities at this time,” said Melissa Denbow, vice president of corporate giving and community relations at Machias Savings, in a news release.  

“We are proud to say that, within two weeks of launching the program, much of the funding we were able to provide is already making a difference in communities across the state," she added.

Kathryn Sargent, the Locker Project's executive director, told Mainebiz the group will use its $2,500 grant to cover increased staff time and food costs during the crisis.

Unable to draw on its 100 volunteers at this time, the group is currently operating with a staff of four and one board member who continues to volunteer.

Every weekday, they pack and distribute 100 bright green bags of food in Portland, South Portland and Westbrook, along with boxes of staple items from Good Shepherd Food Bank. 

"When the schools closed, we wanted to make sure we could continue to provide healthy food to children and families in Greater Portland," Sargent explained in an email. "We quickly pivoted from stocking school pantries and hosting fresh food events to offering pre-packed bags of staples and fresh produce at school meals sites and through other partners."

She also gave a shout-out to donors and funding providers such as Machias Savings Bank she said have been "incredibly supportive."

List of all recipients and amounts 

  • Adopt-a-Block of Aroostook, $5,000
  • United Way of Aroostook, $5,000
  • Aroostook County Action Program, $5,000 
  • Grace Interfaith Food Table (GIFT), $1,000
  • Caribou Ecumenical Food Pantry, $2,500 
  • Opportunity Alliance, $5,000
  • Locker Project, $2,500
  • Avesta Housing, $2,000
  • My Place Teen Center, $2,500
  • Mitchell Institute, $1,000
  • Southern Maine Agency on Aging, $2,500
  • Friends in Action, $2,500
  • Maine Seacoast Mission, $1,500 
  • Bar Harbor Food Pantry $2,500
  • Life Line Food Pantry, $1,500
  • Common Good Soup Kitchen $1,500 
  • H.O.M.E. Inc., $5,000
  • Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, $2,500
  • Penobscot Bay YMCA, $2,500
  • MCH, Inc, $2,500
  • Knox County Homeless Coalition, $1,500
  • Christine B. Foundation, Inc., $2,500 
  • Bangor area Homeless Shelter, $2,500
  • Eastern Area Agency on Aging, $2,500
  • Lincoln Regional Food Cupboard, $2,500
  • United Way of Eastern Maine, $2,500
  • OHI, $1,500
  • Salvation Army, $1,500
  • New Life Old Town, $1,000
  • Wings for Children and Families, $1,000 
  • Bangor Region YMCA, $2,500
  • Piscataquis Regional Food Center, $1,000
  • Tri Town Food Cupboard, $1,000
  • We Care Community Baby Center, $2,500
  • Lubec Community Outreach Center, $3,000
  • Sunrise Opportunities/Community Caring Collaborative, $2,000
  • Town of Danforth, $2,500
  • Washington Academy, $1,000
  • Machias Food Pantry, $4,000 
  • Women for Healthy Rural Living, $1,000
  • Washington County Food and Fuel Alliance, $2,000

Further details about all recipients are available online.

Machias Savings Bank also support nonprofits beyond those that are working directly with the pandemic through its Branch Support Funds.

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