Archive for the ‘St. Mary’s Food Pantry’ Category

Help Us Pack the Bus for the Hungry

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Volunteers from St. Mary’s Food Pantry will be at Shaw’s in Lewiston and Auburn on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 AM to      3 PM, to collect non-perishable food items to PACK THE BUS!  They hope to fill an entire school bus as each location as part of their pre-Thanksgiving food drive.  Residents can stop in at the Shaw’s on East Ave. in Lewiston or Center St. in Auburn to help neighbors in need by making a food or monetary donation.

For the past few years, the Pantry has been focusing more on healthy foods and especially, healthy snacks and lunch items for kids.  Good donation choices include peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, whole grain crackers and pasta, raisins and other dried fruits, and non-sugary cereals.  The Pantry is also looking for items to help fill Thanksgiving boxes – stuffing and gravy would be most helpful.  St. Mary’s Food Pantry regularly serves approximately 375 people per week, and expects to serve approximately 250 families during the 3 days before Thanksgiving.

In addition to members of the Food Pantry Advisory Committee and other long-time and new volunteers that help staff the event, Lewiston High School’s JROTC Cadets will help at each Shaw’s location, and Wolfpack Fitness members will help unload all the donated food at the end of the day.

The goal of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, located in downtown Lewiston, is to promote community health through its food pantry, cooking and nutrition education, youth development, and urban gardening programs.  More information about the Center’s work can be found at


Sam’s Restaurants Support Local Food Pantries

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Sam's Cornucopia Winning Store 2014Sam’s restaurants in Maine raised $6,400 to support local food pantries. Each fall, employees at thirteen Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shops ask if they would like to purchase paper cornucopias for $1 to help end hunger. The restaurant location that sells the most cornucopias wins prizes from Sam’s and other area businesses as a thank you. Environmental Remediation, a local business, made a significant contribution to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry as part of this effort.

This year Sam’s Sabattus Street location in Lewiston raised the most money. Mary Ellingwood from St. Mary’s Development Department presented a plaque noting the achievement to David MacArthur, Manager of the Sam’s Sabattus Street location.

Sam’s Italian Restaurants Fight Hunger

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Each fall thirteen Sam’s Italian Restaurants participate in a fund-raising effort in support local food pantries. For a $1 donation, customers can purchase paper cornucopias to help end hunger. The Sam’s location that sells the most cornucopias wins prizes as a thank you from Sam’s and local businesses such as Sparetime Recreation and Flagship Cinema.

This year, the employees at the restaurant’s Brunswick location raised the largest amount benefiting their local food pantry and Sam’s on Minot Avenue in Auburn raised the most for St. Mary’s Health System’s Food Pantry.  A plaque noting their achievement was presented to the store in January as a thank you by Joyce Gagnon the Manager of St. Mary’s Food Pantry. Altogether, Sam’s restaurants in Maine raised $4,000 to end hunger!

In the photo (l to r):  Wendy Chapman/Manager of Sam’s Minot Avenue location, Joyce Gagnon/St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Andy Morin/District Manager.

National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Imagine spending the longest night of the year on the streets with no place to call home…

The Lewiston/Auburn Alliance for Services to the Homeless (LAASH) and New Beginnings invite the community to join their annual candlelight vigil to remember homeless people during
the holiday season from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, December 21, in downtown Lewiston.

For more than 10 years, LAASH and New Beginnings have held the vigil as part of a national movement of cities marking National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on or near the winter solstice, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year.

Please meet at 4:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Trinity Jubilee Center at Trinity Episcopal Church. The courtyard entrance is on Spruce Street near the corner with Bates Street. Vigil
participants are invited to bring nonperishable and canned food which will be collected at Trinity.

After a few words and lighting of candles, vigil participants will walk several blocks down Bates Street to Main Street. The procession will turn right on Main Street and continue up Sabattus Street and stop in front of Calvary United Methodist Church in the triangle between Sabattus, College, and Bartlett streets. Vigil participants are encouraged to bring signs to hold as the vigil remains in front of Calvary to raise awareness of homelessness to passersby during the evening commute.

Participants are invited to join the vigil at any point, and groups from businesses and service providers near the route are especially encouraged to join as the vigil passes.

Refreshments donated by Hurricane’s and the Bread Shack will be available indoors at Calvary. Staff from New Beginnings will provide van service back to Jubilee or the Park Street garage as needed.

The route is near local services for low-income and homeless people in downtown Lewiston:

. New Beginnings operates support services and housing for youth, including a drop-in center, 245 Lisbon, and 24-hour emergency shelter at 491 Main St., 795-4077.
. Trinity Jubilee Center, 247 Bates St., provides daily meals and food, a warming center, refugee assistance, and resources to those in need, 782-5700.
. The Nutrition Center, 208 Bates St., includes St. Mary’s Food Pantry, youth and gardening programs, and cooking and nutrition education programs, 513-3848.
. The Center for Wisdom’s Women, 97 Blake St., includes a women’s day drop-in center with activities, workshops, and support groups, 513-3922.
. The City Mission group at Calvary Church, 59 Sabattus St., serves hot supper downstairs 4:30-5:30 pm Wednesdays and breakfast 7:30-8:30 am Sundays, 782-3221.

Each year since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has co-sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness. In an effort
to maximize the impact of the day, organizers have encouraged statewide and local groups such as LAASH to hold events of their own. Last year, more than 152 cities across the nation
sponsored events to recommit to the task of ending homelessness.

LAASH is a collaborative made up of organizations that serve local low-income and homeless
people. LAASH, along with the United Way of Androscoggin County and other local supporters,
has launched a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Lewiston-Auburn. For more than 30
years, New Beginnings has kept youth off the streets through their shelter, housing, and
outreach programs.

Brann & Isaacson Attorneys and Counselors at Law Donate to St. Mary’s Food Pantry

Friday, November 9th, 2012



Diane McIntire (left) and Diane Greene (center) from Brann & Isaacson Attorneys and Counselors at Law recently made a donation to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston. Pantry Manager Joyce Gagnon (right) accepted a check for $179.00 and 107 pounds of food (valued at $214.00) on behalf of the Pantry. Gagnon reports the shelves have been particularly bare this year as the needed for emergency food assistance has increased and this donation is greatly appreciated.

Childhood Hunger…Why We Give!

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Summer should be a time of fun in the sun for children; but it’s not for many! School has ended and the access to at least one full meal, sometimes two a day, is gone. Summer is a time when working parents, especially single parents, have to manage increased child care needs/expenses and an increased call for a full refrigerator. However, for many people who are having a hard time making ends meet during the school year, in the summer it becomes impossible to achieve. At St. Mary’s Food Pantry we see moms walk in with all of their children at this time of year. Grandparents begin to appear looking for food for their grandchildren. St. Mary’s, with the support of church groups, businesses/corporations and many community volunteers, tries to keep the pantry shelves full but the challenge is becoming harder and harder to meet. In the last year the increased cost of food coupled with a still somewhat stagnant economy has resulted in less food distributed to an ever growing group of people in need. Each year the dollars the pantry receives from the Annual Hearts United Employee Campaign gives the pantry the boost it needs to help make it through another year. Thank you to all. We couldn’t do it without you!

Joyce Gagnon

St. Mary’s Food Pantry Manager

Our employees give generously to this program through our annual St. Mary’s Hearts United Campaign, but the need is still great. To make a contribution, click here.  Thank you!

BIW Donates to St. Mary’s Food Pantry

Friday, November 18th, 2011


Shelby Rossignol and her dad Paul Rossignol delivered 242 pounds of food and $1,758 to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry on behalf of Bath Iron Works where they are employed. Every year BIW employees do a food drive before Thanksgiving to benefit the Pantry. The donation was deeply appreciated. Joyce Gagnon, the Pantry manager, says this is the most challenging year the pantry has ever had trying to fill the shelves.

Pack the Bus for St. Mary’s Food Pantry!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Help us Pack the Bus for St. Mary’s Food Pantry this Saturday, April 30 from 9 am to 12 noon at the Lewiston Shaw’s location.  This event helps us fill the shelves for our community members who are in need of help.

Busy day at St. Mary’s Food Pantry!

Friday, November 19th, 2010