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Rotary Club of Waterville grants fight food insecurity

The club recently voted to take $15K out of its reserves to offer funding to organizations in the greater Waterville area.
Food insecurity
Food insecurity
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 11:55 AM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - A little bit can go a long way.

That’s what the Rotary Club of Waterville is hoping their grant program can do.

Aimed at addressing food insecurity in the area, the club recently voted to take $15K out of its reserves to offer funding to organizations in the greater Waterville area.

Rather than award one cause all the money, they decided to go with a mini grant program allowing a request of up to $3K.

In the end, eight organizations ranging from a community fridge program to those that focus on women’s health and weekend meals for children, received some help.

“We thought that this would be the best way to get money out into the community and do some good but also have it targeted and tailored to what the actual needs were of the organizations who are providing this direct service to folks,” said Michelle Print, Rotary Club of Waterville member.

“I’m very grateful for this,” said Rev. Maureen Osbrook, who among other things heads up Starfish Village. “We don’t get FEMA funds. We don’t get taxpayer dollars. We operate solely on donations. A donation like this is a really nice shot in the arm. It can really help a lot of people. I am very appreciative of it.”

Eight applications were accepted, with the following list of recipients recommended by the committee, and ratified by the Rotary board:

· Central Maine Gleaners: Community Fridge Program with fridge located in Waterville and food available to all. Amount awarded: $1,950.00.

· Waterville Area Essentials Closet & Starfish Village/First Congregational Church: Essentials Closet offers essential items to anyone in need in the greater Waterville area. Starfish Village helps homeless families and individuals with needs not met by other services. Amount awarded: $2,850.00.

· Palmyra Baptist Worship Food Bank/Soup Kitchen: Purchase of commercial stove to continue food provision to multiple community residents. Amount awarded: $1,000.

· Oakland Food Pantry: Serves residents of Oakland. No person in need of food turned away. Amount awarded: $1,384.00.

· Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter: Offers bed nights and essential items to vulnerable and low-wealth Mainers in need of shelter. Amount awarded: $2,000.

· Interfaith Resource Fund: Meets emergency needs of residents of Waterville and Winslow for housing, food, and other essentials. Amount awarded: $2,000.

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