EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Kimberly Gates at the Bath Area Food Bank.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Kimberly Gates at the Bath Area Food Bank.

BATH

There’s no such thing as a slow month at the Bath Area Food Bank, and one Midcoast company is helping to make the mounting task easier.

Medical supply company Mölnlycke has issued a challenge.

According to Executive Director Kimberly Gates, the food bank serves between 190-215 families every month and provides 70-90 meals a day at their soup kitchen. Located in Bath, the food bank also serves residents in a number of surrounding communities, including West Bath, Arrowsic, Georgetown, Woolwich and Phippsburg.

While the need is always great, the organization is even busier than usual during the holiday season. Gates overseas the food bank, a connected food pantry, and two smaller food pantries at Morse High School in Bath.

Last year, the Bath Area Food Bank was able to provide 200 meals for Thanksgiving and 200 more for Christmas. Depending on the needs of the communities, Gates expects to provide a similar number this year. Each of those meals consists of a turkey and a basket of holiday foods, as well as gift cards.

Faced with the daunting challenge of raising the money for around 400 meals, Gates is thrilled to have a helping hand from Mölnlycke, a Swedish company with facilities in Wiscasset and Brunswick.

Mölnlycke first got connected to the Bath Area Food Bank through a food drive organized by an employee earlier this year. The company, which produces high-quality foam bandages and wound care products, provides turkeys or gift cards to their employees annually for Thanksgiving, and many of the employees would generously turn around and donate those gifts to local charities.

This year, Mölnlycke has decided to donate directly to the Bath Area Food Bank and make sure that their own employees keep their company gifts. It has decided to set a matching challenge for donations to the food bank for the holiday season. That means donations will be doubled by the company.

“What we want is to incentivize other people to contribute,” said Jim Detert, director of U.S. manufacturing.

Detert hopes that Mölnlycke’s challenge motivates other companies and individuals in the Midcoast area to help provide meals.

Other ways to give to the food bank include a “Fill a Bus” event at Shaw’s in Bath this Saturday and Sunday, where people can buy groceries from a wish list to put on the bus to help fill the Thanksgiving baskets. Those interested in participating in the challenge can mail their donations to the Bath Area Food Bank, or donate online at bathfoodbank.org/donations.

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