Bangor ICU nurses work with Salvation Army to address food insecurity

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:54 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Maine has seen an increase in food insecurity.

Many families are having to turn to local organizations or food pantries for assistance with meals.

Small efforts can make a huge impact, and a group of ICU nurses from Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical center take one day off every month to assist with food insecurity at Bangor’s Salvation Army.

“We have them once a month come into our soup kitchen to help and prepare to serve a meal to the community,” said Kristie Clark, Case Manager & Community Liaison for Salvation Army Bangor. “They’re part of an amazing village here, they’re the army behind the army. They help prepare and serve a little over 3,000 meals a month.”

The nurses said their line of work inspired them to address other community needs during their time off.

“Working in the ICU we’ve noticed that there are a lot of patients and families that have a lot of need, and we recognize that within our staff,” said Jacqueline Pushard, ICU and pediatric ICU nurse.

“Every group that comes is so important to us, without them we would not be able to do what we do,” said Clark.

The nurses are serving up taco salad for lunch this month.

Once efforts are completed, the nurses begin exploring for a meal to serve up the following month.

Clark has first-hand experience of how the salvation army can change lives.

When her family went through tragedy, a knock at the door inspired her to work for the organization.

“Little did I know that the salvation army that year found out that our family had a tragedy happen a month before and they were there when we didn’t even know the salvation army was a thing,” said Clark.

Ever since she was 19 years-old she wanted to be a part of that change.

“The food insecurities in this community it’s a very real problem,” said Clark. “If you know of someone who has food insecurities, please reach out to us, nobody should go hungry.”

If you’re interested in volunteering for the salvation army, you can follow this link to register on their website or call 207-941-2990.