The recent article about the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s added fees on purchased products was incomplete (“Agencies fret over food bank fees,” Aug. 9) and it is my hope that the article does not result in a cutback in donations to this crucial organization.

Missing from the newspaper was information about all the free items and very low cost items provided to partner agencies.

The vast majority of partner agencies could not safely receive or process the huge number of donated items requiring refrigeration or freezers.

The trucks and equipment found at Good Shepherd are crucial if such donations are to continue and if partner agencies are to benefit by receiving these goods.

As a volunteer manager of a very busy food pantry, I can testify to the significant number of hours required to maintain our program.

Although our pantry is staffed entirely by volunteers, it is unreasonable to expect that that a distribution center of the size and scope of Good Shepherd should depend entirely on volunteers.

In addition to paying for qualified staff, Good Shepherd must provide upkeep for all its buildings and vehicles. The funds for all of this must be raised and added fees is apparently one method of raising necessary funds.

I hope that Good Shepherd will use this publicity as a catalyst to examine ways to lower its costs, but I strongly urge those businesses and individuals who donate to Good Shepherd Food Bank to continue their support.

Good Shepherd provides a vital service to many agencies that are struggling to provide for thousands of Maine families facing serious food insecurity.

Dorothy Blanchette

president, Falmouth Food Pantry Inc.

Falmouth 

Opposing views offered on same-sex marriage 

A few weeks ago I wrote that I disagreed with same-sex marriage, but my letter wasn’t published, even though another woman’s letter was, and we attend the same church.

I don’t want to be a standout, but I must take a stand for Jesus Christ.

I feel such marriages are not moral and our country is doing away with rightousness and falling into moral decay.

I feel it is a choice to be gay or lesbian, and is against God’s word.

Joyce Peterson

Gray

The hearing on the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act held recent was a fantastic display of growing acceptance and the progress we are making in the field of human rights.

The message was clear — the federal government has no business creating laws like DOMA, which step on the toes of marriage equality laws passed by the states.

A legitimately married couple living in a state that recognizes their union should have the same rights as every other married couple living in that state, and the Respect for Marriage Act (the bill that would repeal DOMA) will ensure that happens.

I am not gay, but I understand pointless discrimination when I see it. We have done everything in our country to try to provide equal treatment for all, except allowing the LGBT community the right to legitimize their relationships in the eyes of the government.

A repeal of DOMA will make certain that all families are treated equally — a concept that can be traced back to the founding fathers of our nation.

Now, we should do our part to advance this fight for equality right here in Maine.

Currently, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in Maine, and couples who have legitimately married out of state are not recognized as such here.

There are thousands of Mainers who deserve the rights and recognition that every family should enjoy, and this can only be achieved once we bring marriage equality to Maine.

Jennifer Bliss

Portland 

Big Oil will work to stymie effort to boost auto mileage 

I see the U.S. making a grave error in judgment with regards to the increase in production costs as the auto industry sets its sights on producing a car that will get in excess of 50 mpg!

If via this innovative action, combined with other conservation tactics, we are able to greatly reduce the nation’s consumption of petroleum based products, the oil producers will merely decrease production and/or raise prices in order to protect their bottom lines.

There are only a couple of ways that such conservation will be effective:

1. It will last until the current stock of oil is depleted; for, when supplies are replenished, adjustments will most assuredly have been enacted; thereby, protecting the aforementioned bottom lines;

2) Or, if we use no more oil than we can produce. Oil must be replaced with an energy source totally sustainable within our own country.

Any fears of isolationism would easily be soothed if we develop an alternative energy source that can be exported!

Considering the matter of research and development in the field of alternative energy, efforts in this area are greatly stymied by none other than Big Oil itself. Naturally enough, these fat cats covet their income at the expense of America and Americans!

There is one alternative that political correctness has silenced. While we have a presence in the oil-producing countries anyway, we could secure oil rights in one manner or another.

If we are doing anyone over there any favors, they should be more than happy to pay up!

Kevin Douglas

Fryeburg 

Why won’t city turn down volume on harbor concerts? 

As Munjoy Hill residents, we are dismayed that the city sells out residents in favor of music promoters.

Waterfront concerts without any sound control, regardless of who is performing, are unacceptable.

Music blasts so loud that even with all the windows closed, household life is totally disrupted.

Decisions have been made without public input on the use and regulation of the Ocean Gateway Terminal and Maine State Pier.

D.D. and Marc Swan

Portland