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Mexico Lions come through for food pantry
Members of the Mexico Lions Clubs and the Mexico Police Explorers pose with canned goods purchased to help restock the empty cupboards at GRAMPA (Greater Rumford Area Ministers and Priests Association), the area's largest food pantry. The Lions also purchased 42 turkeys, enabling the delivery of food baskets to needy families for Thanksgiving. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
MEXICO -- Only a week earlier, the cupboards of GRAMPA (Greater Rumford Area Ministers and Priests Association), the area's largest food pantry, were nearly empty.
Director Sue Byam said they no longer entertained thoughts of being able to do anything for needy families for Thanksgiving. "We were down to nothing."
Then the Mexico Lions Club stepped up with a $300 donation for turkeys, with the Lions and the Mexico Police Explorers coming through with $100 each for canned goods.
As a result, their shelves are full again (temporarily) and, with the help of the Explorers, will be delivering the Thanksgiving baskets Byam didn't think would happen. She added they were also able to pick up some items at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Lewiston, which has seen a decline of salvage food of 70 percent from 2006 to the beginning of 2012.
On Friday afternoon, Lions Club members Jim Theriault (president) and Roland Patneaude, as well as members of the Explorers, carried in several boxes of canned goods that were purchased earlier at Wal-Mart. There were also two bags of food items collected by students at the Mountain Valley Middle School.
Earlier, they purchased 42 turkeys at the local Hannaford, when the birds were on special at 49 cents a pound. The only catch was that there was a limit of one per customer. Therefore, Theriault said the Explorers made several trips through the checkout.
Theriault noted that they also used one of the turkeys as part of a food basket for a Mexico family in need.
Theriault said the Lions also donated $50 to the Renaissance Program at MVMS. Last December, the Lions donated $500 to the GRAMPA food pantry.
The Mexico Lions Club meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays at the Mexico Police Department. "We're always looking for new members," noted Theriault.
Byam said anyone wishing to send money may do so by making their checks to GRAMPA Food Pantry and send them to GRAMPA Food Pantry, 163 Main St., Mexico, ME 04257.
GRAMPA, located in the basement of the Green Church on Main Street, is open Mondays from 2-3:30 p.m., Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 9-11 a.m.