State

Mainers struggling during deep-freeze reach out for help

As Mainers scramble to keep warm in the icy weather that has gripped the state since Christmas, relief comes from a variety of sources.

In the York County town of Acton, a locally-funded program has come to the aid of several low-income elderly residents. One was a military veteran staying in the bathroom and trying to keep warm with an electric space heater. Another person hadn’t eaten for four days after spending the food budget on fuel oil, and a local couple ran out of both firewood and heating oil.

Town Administrator Jennifer Roux said Tuesday that a monitored account for the grass-roots Neighbors Helping Neighbors program is funded by private donations alone. It’s the kind of community resource that fills in when other programs fail.

“This is a time to reach out to people who may not qualify for other kinds of assistance,” she said.

At Eastern Area Agency on Aging in Bangor, a generous local patron recently donated 18 new electric space heaters, available on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible households. The energy-efficient heaters can warm up a small area but are not a substitute for central heat, said Director of Community Services Tabatha Caso. The anonymous local donor asks only that recipients “pay it forward” with an act of kindness, she said.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Mainers struggling during deep-freeze reach out for help,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Meg Haskell, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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