The Game Loft is winner of 16 County Summer Grant Competition

PORTLAND

Full Plates Full Potential, Maine’s only statewide child hunger organization, announced The Game Loft is winner of the Waldo County 2019 16 County Summer Grant Competition. The Game Loft will receive a $500 Summer Meals Program Grant to support its 2020 summer program.

The 16 County Summer Grant Competition was launched to highlight the critical work summer food programs do reaching the over 80,000 children who rely on school meals for basic nutrition.

Full Plates program director Anna Korsen said The Game Loft 2019 summer meals program served 1,688 meals, a 31% increase over 2018.

“Summer is an important time to reach kids facing rural isolation and pressing local food insecurity as schools are no longer in session to help relieve stressors and meet needs,” said Korsen. “We attribute our success in feeding hundreds of hungry youth first and foremost to our robust and innovative summer programming that keeps kids coming to our door day in and day out. We recognize programs that work and that kids love.”

Programs like ‘Adventurer’s Guild’ and ‘I Love Food’ have been running for many years for kids of all ages. In 2019, the ‘Sea/ME: Summer of Science’ program provided hands-on marine science experiences for kids ages 6-10 while offering additional fun ‘pirate activities’ to keep the youngest kids engaged.

The program’s van run four days a week during the summer, to and from The Game Loft in Belfast, meeting kids at their doorstep and delivering them to the Loft for healthy food, mentorship and games.

“Our transportation service is vital to reducing barriers for rural and low-income kids and ensuring access to quality programming for youth county-wide,” said Ray Estabrook of The Game Loft.

Learn more at www.fullplates.org.

Democrats to Honor Sheriff Todd Brackett with Frances Perkins Award at Virtual Dinner

DAMARISCOTTA

The Lincoln County Democratic Committee (LCDC) named Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett as the recipient of the 2020 Frances Perkins Award.

The biennial tradition recognizes a Lincoln County Democrat who exemplifies, through their efforts, the continuing legacy of Frances Perkins. Grounded by summers with her grandmother in Newcastle, Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor, was the lead advocate of the New Deal for Social Security, the 40-hour work week, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance, as well as for laws regulating child labor. Lincoln County Democrats share her values rooted in the needs of working people.

“Sheriff Brackett understands that our communities are better served by reducing recidivism and preventing crimes than by keeping full jails. He looks not only at a person’s failures or differences, but at the whole person, seeking the means to motivate each individual to change their path, improve their lives, and the lives of all the people around them” said Chris Johnson, Chair of the Lincoln County Democratic Committee.

“When we started the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative, Sheriff Brackett was a founding member, realizing that solving a substance use problem requires a medical treatment-based solution.”

Sheriff Brackett’s career in law enforcement began at the Kennebec County Jail where he worked while earning a degree in criminal justice from the University of Maine. Upon graduation, Frank Hackett, then sheriff for Kennebec County, offered him a position as a patrol deputy and sponsored his attendance at the Maine Police Academy, where he was awarded the Firearms and Professionalism Awards at age 21.

Brackett served as a K-9 officer for nine years with his partner, Cliff van Waldenstein, a German shepherd, first in Kennebec and then, in 1988, at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. He was commissioned as the Damariscotta chief of police in 1998 and worked in that capacity until 2002, when he was elected to be the first ever Democratic sheriff of Lincoln County.

Sheriff Brackett has been honored with several President’s Citations from the Maine Sheriff’s Association, an organization he led from 2007-2010, as well as a Legislative Sentiment. He has been recognized as a Champion for Children by the Maine Children’s Growth Council and is proud of his work on behalf of the children of Maine and his advocacy of early childhood education. He has also supported much needed reforms, speaking up for rehabilitation over incarceration in the official approach to the opioid crisis and other corrections-related issues.

The public is invited to join the LCDC at a virtual Frances Perkins Award Dinner at 7:30 p.m. May 16. In keeping with the “Stay Healthy at Home” executive order and everyone’s shared concerns about COVID-19, this year’s event will take place online and guests can choose gift cards to one of five popular Lincoln County restaurants to use at their leisure in lieu of sitting down to the traditional banquet-style meal.

For more information or to make reservations or a donation in honor of Sheriff Brackett, go to https://lincolncountydemocrats.com/award or call 644-8776.

York County Community Action to Administer Local Rent Relief Program for People Affected by COVID-19

YORK COUNTY

York County Community Action Corporation is joining nine other Maine Community Action Agencies in administering funds from the COVID Rent Relief Program, which is for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. The program is designed to provide a one-time bridge payment of up to $500 for rent until households get stimulus and unemployment funds they need. The applicant is the renter and the benefit is paid directly to the landlord. If the landlord agrees to participate in the program, the landlord is postponing the balance of the payment, not forgiving it.

Governor Janet Mills launched the program on April 16.

MaineHousing is funding the program using $5 million from the Housing Opportunities for Maine (HOME) Fund, after the Governor asked them for a plan to protect Mainers. The Community Action Agencies, who partner with MaineHousing on a number of programs, are well positioned to turn around the funds to pay landlords quickly. CAAs have made staffing flexible to assist with this program and ensure that the funds are disbursed without delay.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program does not act as full payment if rent is higher than $500, but is a bridge to other programs until they begin; however, landlords who accept the funds agree not to evict the tenants for that month. Households are eligible if they earn up to 100% of the state median income and are not already in another subsidized program, which have other alternatives for rental payments.

The program is structured to get money to people who need it as quickly as possible through a streamlined application process. Applicants apply online at mainehousing.org/covidrent or they can call their local Community Action Agencies if they don’t have access to the internet or if they have questions about the program.

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