Franklin Countys First News

Wilton Masonic Lodge No. 156 donates to local food pantry

WILTON - The Wilton Food Pantry is getting a boost this month, after a local Masonic Lodge provided the organization a $500 matching grant with a possibility for more.

The Wilton Masonic Lodge No. 156 announced last week that it would be contributing $500 to the pantry, in addition to seeking another $1,000 from the Grand Lodge of Maine Charitable Foundation, through its $2 for $1 matching program. The expenditure was approved by Wor. Master Robert Storer, SW, RW Clinton Coolidge, and JW, Wor., Robert Holmes III. In an email, Wilton Lodge No. 156 Secretary Richard Lumb said that, as with the popular "Bikes for Books" program which rewards elementary students that read books with a chance at winning a new bike, the donation represents a way for the lodge to contribute to the community.

"The recent disruption in life, work, community events, and other normal engagements, caused by the [coronavirus], provides the need for caring assistance," Lumb wrote. "We are pleased with all of the efforts taking place by many and thankful for our small part in assisting.

The pantry, based out of the Wilton United Methodist Church on Main Street, has seen a slight increase in usage since the pandemic began, according to Nye Mosher, the pantry's food coordinator. The amount of work to operate the pantry has increased, Mosher said, as now supplies are lugged out into the parking lot to minimize contact. Mosher said that the pantry has had to put more orders in, as it has gotten harder to get supplies from local stores. While the pantry might previously order food once a month or a month-and-a-half, Mosher said, now it was putting in orders every week.

"But we are managing," Mosher, also a member of Wilton Masonic Lodge No. 156, said. "All of that donation will go toward food."

In addition to being thankful to the Masons, Mosher said that the Wilton Lions Club was instrumental in helping transport supplies from stores or during a USDA distribution, as well as providing donations of meat, produce and bread.

The pantry is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. In the case of an emergency, pantry organizers can be contacted at 645-3840 via leaving a message on the machine.

Donations may be sent to Wilton Area Food Pantry, P.O. 106, Wilton Me. 04294. All donations, large or small, are much appreciated.

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6 Responses »

  1. I am curious, I see plus sized young ladies staring at their cellphones following elderly gentlemen carrying large boxes to big newer 4WD vehicles in the church parking lot. Do these needy folks provide proof of monthly income and expenses in order to take advantage of these donations?

  2. I don’t believe no questions asked. Step right up and get the food. Just because you have a nice vehicle doesn’t mean you’re not hungry.

  3. Thank you Ben for the article. Appreciated by the Wilton Masonic Lodge #156 and the Wilton Food Pantry.

  4. I rarely respond to posts, but Old Crone's comments really bothered me. First, I'd like to know why Old Crone is watching people in the church parking lot! That's just plain creepy! Apparently, she was especially interested in the plus-size young ladies on their cell phones driving into nice vehicles. Second, how would she want the food bank folks to determine income verificaion for a box of food. Would a person have to bring in tax returns? Would the person have to be vetted as "poor" through DHHS? Would the person have to look shabby, drive a broken-down vehicle and not have a cell phone?
    So here's a scenario that might fit this young woman getting a box of food. Up until Feb., she had a great job working at a hair salon, with more customers than she could handle. In fact, the owner was ready to retire and this young woman had plans to buy the shop. Maybe she has a couple of kids. Maybe her husband is a self-employed carpenter. Maybe they just bought a house after saving for years, and they have a $1,000 monthly mortgage. Maybe he has a decent truck that he needs for work, and they have two $300-a-month vehicle payments, and they never missed a month on all their financial obligations.
    So now, the hair salon shop is closed, and she hasn't had a paycheck for 13 weeks. Her husband's construction jobs have been postponed indefinitely. Neither of them have gotten unemployment and no longer have health insurance. Maybe one of the kids is developmentally disabled, and now that schools are closed, that's been an extra challenge to do school work online. Maybe with all their expenses and no income, things are getting pretty desperate.
    Maybe, Old Crone, you're judging someone who has worked hard her whole life to get the nice car and a nice home. Maybe she just got a call on that cell phone that her mother in a Massachusetts nursing home has COVID 19 and is being rushed to the hospital that's four hours away from her. Yep! She definitely doesn't deserve that box of food!

  5. Maybe I am a plus sized old lady who is hungry. Maybe that is my church. Maybe the church is on Main St. Maybe I am a very cautious driver, especially when pedestrians are not watching where they are walking or they are elderly and struggling with heavy burdens near the street. Maybe I have raised a family, bought a house at age 19, kept safe, insured vehicles since age 17, worked full time since age 16 and live within my means.
    Maybe I saved my money so I could help my elderly parents in their time of need. Maybe I was raised with a sense of personal responsibility. Maybe I just don't get this entitlement mentality. Call me creepy.

  6. A few years ago during a very heavy wind blow two large two foot plus "swamp trees" fell on part of my neighbors house and lawn,he no longer lives there,and I watched him struggle with a chain saw trying to clean them up. I jumped on the tractor went on over and in a few hours we had them cleaned up and cleaned out. It was never talked about or mentioned again after that. Why? Because thats what Maine people do. There is a major difference between needing a hand and looking for freebies. I hope that the people that just need a hand do not hesitate to accept it. For most of us it is offered and given freely. Life is one big learning curve. May be you can pass it on some day.

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