Those needing food in the Oxford Hills have options

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PARIS — As the year passes the halfway mark, the Salvation Army funds for Paris and Norway have been depleted until Oct. 1, said General Assistance Administrator Shannon Moxcey.
“Our Norway and Paris offices have been receiving many calls from people requesting lists of local landlords, or assistance from the Salvation Army,” she said in a news release. “The Salvation Army funds have been depleted for the Norway, Oxford and Mechanic Falls units” until Oct. 1. She said the towns also do not keep lists of local landlords.
But the towns, in their monthly newsletter, also listed a number of places in the area residents can find food assistance.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, residents can use the Oxford Hills Food Pantry, Paris Street, in Norway. It’s open 9 to 11 a.m. Those using it must go to the Town Office and provide proof of residency to get a voucher.
The First Universalist Church of Norway’s Community Lunch Program serves free hot lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays at 479 Main St., Norway. “One of our church members, Leland Millett, is a founding member of this important social service activity, and he has worked tirelessly on its behalf,” a church representative said. “The lunch is sponsored by the Oxford Hills Association of Area Churches, which is composed of 10 churches at this time. These churches supply both cooks and staff, and there are also volunteers from the community who help in the kitchen, serve and clean up. This lunch benefits many people from our community with warm food, friendly faces and an atmosphere of encouragement.”
The Progress Center’s Community Kitchen, 35 Cottage St., Norway, provides free meals to Oxford Hills residents from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday. “The Community Kitchen recognizes that for many individuals and families in Oxford Hills, food insecurity is a real issue,” said a representative. “They also have a food pantry that is open prior to the free hot dinner so people can get food to bring home. The Community Kitchen is funded solely through the generous donations of businesses, foundations and individuals.” Those interested in becoming a sponsor may contact Miranda at 207-743-8049 x 266.
Daddy-O’s Restaurant, in Oxford, serves a free community meal once a month. Daddy’O’s has also extended an offer to Paris and Norway Police Departments that if any local police officer encounters an individual or family who is hungry, the officer can bring them to Daddy-O’s for a free meal.
During garden season, there are local groups, including the Alan Day Community Garden of Norway and Gardener’s Growing Healthy Communities of Paris, that help people with fresh produce.