Rev. Shirley Bowen, executive director at Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center, left and Julie Villemaire, Biddeford branch manager at SBSI are pictured. Seeds of Hope was a recipient of a donation from SBSI. Courtesy photo

SACO —  As the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic recession continue to affect communities across Southern Maine, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution is furthering its efforts to give back to local organizations. The bank recently donated $80,000 to dozens of charities and nonprofits in York and Cumberland counties, providing support for food insecurity programs, heating assistance, mental health services and personal protective equipment needs.

Pictured from left are Melanie Lee, Scarborough branch manager at SBSI, and Bert Follansbee, board president of Project Grace. Project Grace was a recipient of a donation from SBSI. Courtesy photo

“As a mutual institution, we believe that we have a responsibility to give back to our communities,” said Bob Quentin, president and CEO of SBSI. “In a year that has presented innumerable challenges, we decided that it was more important than ever to support organizations whose services have become even more critical as a result of the pandemic.”

As part of its COVID-19 relief efforts in December, the bank donated $35,000 to local food pantries along with another $17,500 to programs focused on feeding youth. SBSI also donated $10,000 towards mental health services, $5,000 for heating assistance programs and $2,500 to provide PPE.

Pictured from left are Carolyn Lamontagne, Old Orchard Beach branch manager at SBSI, Major Daniel Brunelle, corps officer/pastor at The Salvation Army of Old Orchard Beach, and Michael Rague, Old Orchard Beach Assistant Branch Manager at SBSI. The Salvation Army was the recipient of a donation from SBSI. Courtesy photo

The bank also asked its corporators to vote from a list of seven nonprofits. The first and second place finishers, My Place Teen Center and Good Shepherd Food Bank, received $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. The other five nonprofits each received $1,000, bringing the bank’s overall COVID-19 relief donations for the month to $80,000.

Founded in 1827, Saco & Biddeford Savings is Maine’s oldest bank with locations in Saco, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland or Westbrook.

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