A Portland-based organization with a mission of helping disadvantaged Mainers announced Monday night that it will distribute $1 million in grants to 71 organizations across the state, funds those organizations can use to provide food, shelter and essential services to families and individuals in need.

The John T. Gorman Foundation increased its funding level in 2021 to reflect what it described in a news release as the incredible level of need the COVID-19 pandemic caused in Maine.

“Even before the pandemic, too many Mainers were experiencing food insecurity, homelessness and lack of access to many other essentials. Over the last year, the pandemic has only made the situation much worse – increasing unmet needs in Maine communities and straining the organizations that are working valiantly to address them,” Lauralee Raymond, program associate at the John T. Gorman Foundation, said in a statement. “We are privileged to be able to support the efforts of these community organizations to help Mainers get through this extremely difficult time.”

The foundation’s annual Direct Services Grant Program allocated grants to organizations offering food assistance, addressing homelessness, and providing other support to low-income families and individuals, such as clothing, household items, and heating and electrical assistance. Other areas of giving included support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, community transportation, immigrant services and health care access.

Among the organizations receiving grants were: Amistad of Portland, $20,000; the Augusta Food Bank, $15,000; Caring Unlimited in Sanford, $15,000; Easterseals Maine in South Portland, $15,000; Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland, $25,000; Mid Coast Hunger Prevention program in Brunswick, $15,000 and Tedford Housing in Brunswick, $20,000.

A complete list of grant recipients is available on the foundation’s website.

John T. Gorman, known as Tom, was a grandson of L.L. Bean and established the foundation in 1995 to help disadvantaged Mainers.

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