Ending Hunger in Maine

To the editor,

In communities throughout Maine, many are confronted with the painful daily reality of not being able to access enough food for themselves and their families.

House Majority Leader Maureen Terry, the Sponsor of Maine’s LD1046 Hunger Prevention Act passed in July 2021, reports that nearly one in 10 people in our state are currently experiencing hunger, including one out of ever six children.

There are ways to help: Donate to your local food pantry; volunteer at a local program that helps feed people; and file your taxes.

Now, Mainers have a new opportunity to help efforts to end food insecurity by simply checking a box on their state tax forms.


For the first time, there’s an option on Form 1040ME for taxpayers to donate a portion of their refund to support the Emergency Food Assistance Program Fund (or to respond to a request to mail in the amount if no refund is owed to the taxpayer.) Just select an amount on line 8 of Schedule CP of Form 1040ME. TEFAP provides emergency food assistance for low-income folks at no cost, supporting our most vulnerable and helping to create a hunger-free Maine for future generations.

A sample form can be found at https://www.maine.gov/revenue/sites/maine.gov.revenue/files/inline-files/22_1040me_sched_cp_ff.pdf

Additionally, you can learn more about the program at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/tefap/index.shtml

If every Maine income tax filer donates $5, we can finally end hunger in Maine.

Help end food insecurity for the whole state.

Sara Lambert Bloom


Saco should stream planning board meetings

To the editor,

The city of Saco is a troubling outlier in its lack of providing public access to its planning board meetings via video streaming.

Surrounding municipalities Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Scarborough, South Portland, and Portland all provide live video access to planning board meetings through Facebook or local-access TV channels. Videos are then available as public records on various Internet platforms.

Saco council and school board meetings already live-stream from city hall auditorium since the digital infrastructure and staffing are in place. Planning board meetings, also held in the auditorium, should offer the same level of public access.

Funding is not the issue; in 2022, Saco city councilors approved federal ARPA funds to offer broader digital access to city meetings, including hybrid meetings.


But almost a year later, as upgrades for hybrid meetings are still underway, access to planning board meetings remains unchanged; the only option is to attend in person or wait for an MP3 audio recording to be uploaded days or sometimes a full week later.

I can report first hand that the MP3 audio files are extremely time-consuming to use and are often of poor or defective sound quality.

The digital infrastructure exists, the money to support expanded access exists, and the City’s I.T. department has recently welcomed additional staff; why does Saco not live-stream its planning board meetings?

Let the City know you care about this discrepancy. Contact City Administrator Bryan Kaenrath at bkaenrath@sacomaine.org or call 282-4191. City Planner Emily Cole Prescott can be reached at eprescott@sacomaine.org or 282-3487.

Inga Sandvoss Browne

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