It’s wintertime in Maine, which means the holiday season is about to be in full swing. Like many of you, I use this time of year to reflect on all I have to be thankful for.

Joe Rafferty Courtesy photo

As always, I am thankful for my amazing family, my wife, my daughters and their families, which continue to grow. They support me every day in countless ways. I am thankful for another great season coaching Kennebunk High School football, and I am thankful to have worked with such a great group of young men again this year. I am also thankful for their families and friends for all their support throughout our season. And I am especially thankful to the people of Wells, Berwick, North Berwick, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport for choosing me once again to be your voice in Augusta. Being your state senator is a privilege, and something I don’t take for granted.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I wanted to take the time to share information on some of our local food pantries and nonprofits. Whether you are in need of food assistance, or looking to make a donation or volunteer, I hope that you find some of this information helpful.

If you find yourself in a position to donate or give back this holiday season, consider a local food bank or fuel assistance fund. To find out more about donating to a local fuel fund, reach out to your town office for more information. Our local food banks are also an excellent resource for folks in need and likewise a great way to give back to your community by donating or lending a helping hand. This time of year has the highest demand for donations and volunteers for our local pantries, and I encourage you all to donate your time or goods if you are in a position to do so.

York County Shelter Programs, located at 147 Shaker Hill Road in Alfred, is one resource we are certainly lucky to have in our area. More than a homeless shelter, York County Shelter Programs also runs the largest food pantry in York County, just five minutes up the road at 5 Swetts Bridge Road, and is open Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. The best part is that York County Shelter Programs has no requirements to receive food, anyone in need is welcome.

After connecting with the good folks who run the food pantry, I can tell you that while they are not in need of new volunteers, they are in need of donations. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter or food or is interested in donating, call York County Shelter Programs at 207-324-1137 or email them at


Community Harvest is another great organization that sponsors the Harvest Cafe, which provides delicious complimentary meals on the third Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, located at 2 Lord St. in Kennebunk. Community Harvest is always looking for volunteers; those interested in learning more about how they can help can contact Eva Barnfather at 207-967-6170 to learn more.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church also sponsors Share the Bounty, a free bean supper held on the first Saturday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m., as well as a Friendship Lunch, held on the second Monday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. Lastly, St. David’s Episcopal Church distributes food boxes to eligible local seniors on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Each eligible senior receives a box filled with 30 pounds of mostly nonperishable food items. Following this, the church also hosts a free community soup lunch, served from 10 a.m. to noon also on the fourth Tuesday of each month. It is important to note that the schedule for food distribution may change around the holidays, and those interested should contact the church at 207-985-3073 to confirm their schedule. The church is located at 138 York St. in Kennebunk.

As the holiday season approaches and we reflect on the things we are grateful for, consider giving back to the community by donating or volunteering with your local food bank. It could go a long way in our communities. If you or your family need help finding food resources, visit,, or reach out to my office.

Joseph Rafferty is a member of the Maine State Senate representing District 34, Acton, Kennebunk, Lebanon, North Berwick, Wells, and part of Berwick. He can be reached at or 207-590-9902.

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