CASCO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The U.S. census bureau says more Mainers are living in poverty. Data released today shows that the state's poverty rate in 2010 was 12. 5 percent, up from 11.4 percent in 2009.
That's translating into a bigger demand on soup kitchens and pantries, especially in rural areas. A new food delivery program is expected to ease some of the burden.
Cases and cases of food from the Good Shepherd Food-Bank warehouse are loaded onto trucks and head out to the Lakes Region. The first stop for the food, milk and frozen meat is the Casco Village Church. The church serves hot meals and provides food items to up to fifty families a month.
"They are pretty grateful and we love to be able to help them, they are all very grateful actually," said Theda Logan the pantry's coordinator.
Up until now, volunteers from pantries in Casco and Naples spent thousands of dollars of their money and countless hours transporting items from food banks in Lewiston and Portland.
A new partnership between the towns of Casco, Naples and other communities is putting prevention to work, the much needed items are delivered right to their door. The demand for help from food pantries across Cumberland County is up 42 percent according to a survey by the Maine Hunger Alliance. Now with one less financial burden, pantries are hopeful they can help more people get back on their feet.