SKOWHEGAN-Early Friday morning, dozens of volunteers from unions at the Sappi Somerset mill came together to sort, stack and deliver 9 tons of food to local community food banks and families.
“We started up by collecting small donations at the mill and taking them off to families that needed them. And then we started challenging people to do some fundraising and I challenge them every year to raise $2000 more than the previous year and we’ll add a town. We’re up to 11 town food banks and 150 complete Christmas dinners to families that need them and veteran families,” said United Steelworkers Local 9 President Patrick Carelton.
For the 9th year in a row, he has worked with the Village Market out of Fairfield to source most of the food.
He says they have raised over 26 thousand dollars worth of donations, which include canned foods like peas, baked beans and mixed vegetables.
Once the donations were packed up, volunteers had them loaded and ready to go to food banks in 11 communities, some of which include Skowhegan, Fairfield, Madison, and Waterville
“All those trucks and trailers will be heading out to the various food banks, they’ll be met there by volunteers. The volunteers that you run into when we go to those places. They are so thankful because they now can tell people ‘we have food for you.'”
“So many communities are in such need. Smaller towns, smaller food cupboards, they’re struggling and it’s great to roll in there with a truck full of goods and see their faces light up in the communities as they come to help us unload. It’s a great feeling,” said Mike Theriault, a volunteer.