Have you heard? Feeding hungry kids just got a little easier. School meals will be free for all students this coming school year. Also, Pandemic relief EBT cards are available to qualifying families. Any family that qualifies for free/reduced meals is eligible for P-EBT cards with up to $375 per schoolchild for food purchased at any participating grocery store in Maine, including curbside/online. Apply by August 31st at https://sites.google.com/.../nutrition.../free-reduced-meals. Applying for the 'Free & Reduced' program also helps school districts get their share of federal funding. Call Brenda at Scarborough School Nutrition at 730-4700 for more info or help applying.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, provides additional funding for various programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965. SMAA, serving as a pass-through agent for these new federal relief funds, launched a competitive grant application process. Project GRACE is honored to be among those to receive funding.
Have you heard? The Scarborough Food Pantry and South Portland Food Cupboard are open and have made changes to their hours. The Scarborough Food Pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (1:30-4:00 p.m.) and the South Portland Food Cupboard is open Thursday mornings (8:30-11:00 a.m.) and also now Tuesday mornings (10:30-Noon). Both pantries are operating safely with curbside service. FMI and links: https://tockify.com/scarboroughcc/detail/1275/1600315200000
Anyone else feeling a little sheepish (ha-ha) about the extra TP stashed away? Bring your spares to our curbside Food & Essentials Drive for the Scarborough Food Pantry on Wednesday, July 15th from 4-6 p.m.! We're collecting non-perishable nutritious food for our neighbors, as well as household essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, dishwashing soap, household disinfectant sprays, and hand sanitizer! Grocery, Walgreens, and ACE gift cards are helpful, too.
This is a curbside drop-off event, and we ask that you please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask, so volunteers can assist you.
The pantry is at the 1st Congregational Church, 167 Black Point Road. More info will be posted here by Friday.
Friends of Project GRACE, including the Loyal Order of the Moose and Town and Country Federal Credit Union, have donated funds to help us distribute simple health kits with 2 masks, 2 pairs of gloves, and a 2oz bottle of hand sanitizer. Thank you! The donation is also being used to offer masks at two 'help yourself' locations: one at the Scarborough Public Library and one at the Post Office. Be well, everyone! (If you'd like to help us keep the Post Office station supplied with masks, please get in touch!)
Thank you, Scarborough Rotary and Anthony's Italian Kitchen! With your help we can show our appreciation for Town employees who have had their working hours reduced to 50% to generate municipal budget savings. Gift certificates for a dinner kit for four (homemade meatballs and sauce, pasta, garlic bread, and salad) are available to employees and their families thanks to Rotary and Anthony's and friends of Project GRACE.
Big shout out of thanks to the chefs at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School. They've been preparing thousands of tasty meals for their neighbors -- 9,500 in April alone. We're grateful that 120 of their nourishing and delicious meals are shared each week with seniors in Scarborough. Each menu is always a delightful surprise, beautifully prepared, and lifting our spirits -- thank you!!
Many many thanks to all the talented stitchers who are making masks for their neighbors! We especially want to thank the Salvation Army Ladies' Auxiliary, Pine Point Quilters, Casco Bay Quilters, Pine Tree Quilters Guild, The Rock Church, and the many individuals who are sewing masks for family, friends, and causes here and away. Dozens of masks have already been shared with Scarborough Terrace, Public Works, Bessey Commons, Maine Veteran's Home, Scarborough Food Pantry, and Public Safety, just to name a few. Thank you!! **Let us know if you're sewing and need more fabric; the Salvation Army Ladies' Auxiliary has donated several bolts of fabric, and we will happily swap a couple yards in exchange for a couple of masks!**
Town of Scarborough, Scarborough Police Department, and Project GRACE Jointly Awarded Grant from United Way's COVID-19 Community Relief Fund
United Way of Greater Portland has awarded $259,073 in the second round of grants from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to 25 local nonprofits, schools, and faith-based groups on the frontlines working with individuals and families disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Project GRACE, Scarborough Police Department and Scarborough General Assistance were jointly awarded a generous and timely $15,000 grant that builds on our community's very long and successful history of working together to give a neighbor a helping hand when it is most needed. These are difficult times for everyone, and this grant will allow the three agencies to respond to urgent and immediate needs due to the COVID-19 crisis. >>MORE
Big shout out of thanks to **Wayside Foods** who are helping us get additional food to the Scarborough Food Pantry and the School Nutrition Backpacks Program. We also wanted to thank the volunteers from the First Congregational Church, Rock Church, South Portland Food Cupboard, the Cardinal family and Smaha's Legion Square Market, and Scarborough Public Works who are getting food to where it's needed. Your gifts to Project GRACE are helping us buy food for the pantry, too. We are all so very grateful for all the community support. If you or someone you know is worried about being hungry, please let us know (www.ScarboroughHelps.org or 883-5111).
We all want to make sure all our neighbors have what they need to stay healthy and safe. Any senior Scarborough resident who would benefit from a weekly check-in phone call can use this Google form to be added to the Town of Scarborough's call list (or call 730-4150 to sign up). Town Councilors and staff will make all the calls, and the Town won't share this number with any other group.
People across the country, and here at home, are putting their talents work, sewing masks. Project GRACE volunteers are collecting and distributing homemade masks. Scarborough Terrace would like masks (the kind with pockets for filters). If you'd like to help, let us know!
>>You can drop off your masks at Scarborough Terrace, or mail them to Project GRACE at PO Box 6846, Scarborough ME 04070, or contact us.
We are grateful to Public Works who earlier this week helped us move dozens of Hannaford Helps food boxes and juice from the pantry to Wentworth for the ‘backpack’ program providing food to families.(PG added some hand soap, too.)
If you are worried about feeding your kids, email email@example.com or leave a message for School Nutrition at 730-4700. Also, area food pantries including Scarborough’s are remaining open, and are following health experts' advice on taking precautions. Visitors will be asked to stay in the parking lot, and will be served curbside.
There is plenty of food available for now, thanks to everyone who donated a Hannaford box at the holidays or gave food and money. We will keep you posted on needs as they arise. >>Food for Thought & Action Update 3/18.
There have already been a lot of offers of help coming our way, and some requests for help, too. We've set up a network to manage offers and requests. We'll get through this together!
Governor Mills, Maine Legislature Approve Unemployment for Displaced Workers >> WCSH 17.March
Governor Mills has introduced, and on March 17 the Legislature passed, emergency unemployment legislation that temporarily extends eligibility to unemployment to workers that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.>>MORE @ DOL
Maine PUC Temporarily Stops Utility Disconnects >>WMTW 16.March
The Maine Public Utilities Commission has ordered all utility disconnections be halted until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.The emergency moratorium covers electric, natural gas, water and phone service. >>MORE @ PUC
IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadlines >> 18.March
All individual and other non-corporate tax filers may defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. Corporate taxpayers are allowed a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. “Americans should file their tax returns by April 15 because many will receive a refund...” said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
Project GRACE is committed to the health and well-being of our community, volunteers, and neighbors; and to continuing to provide needed and timely services to our neighbors.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following the recommendations of experts at local, state and federal levels on the best course of action. We are also listening to our colleagues in the business and nonprofit sectors, partner organizations, and community leaders so we can follow best practices as the situation develops. We are also posting information about resources and what we're doing to help our neighbors >> here.
It is key we all stay calm and understand and follow the recommendations from health experts and town and state government. We think this image helps explain the social distancing strategy that will help our communities slow the spread of the virus, allowing our healthcare systems be able to take care of patients.
Social distancing is not social isolation: stay connected with your loved ones, friends, and neighbors, but keep some physical distance (3' to 6' feet are the current recommendations).It’s essential to the whole community to keep both yourself and other people as safe as possible. Speak on the phone, video chat, email, text, use social media, or send letters or cards to offer support. Practice patience and empathy, smile, and wave, give a compliment or encouragement. And if you must meet in person, to drop off shopping for example, avoid all physical contact, and always wash your hands thoroughly or use sanitizer before and after. Stay home if you or anyone you live with is unwell. Someone's life could depend on it.
On Thursday, March 12, Governor Mills and the Maine CDC Director announced that Maine has identified its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19. Visit the Maine CDC page for the latest guidance and information here and the US CDC here. Additionally, 211 Maine is now available to answer general questions about COVID-19.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Visit us on FaceBook