Houlton, Maine - Customs and Border Protection officers from Houlton, Fort Fairfield, Van Buren, Madawaska and Fort Kent donated more than four tons of non-perishable food to Catholic Charities Maine Wednesday. The donated items will supplement 24 Aroostook County food pantries from Wytopitlock to St. Francis.
During the last three months, CBP officers from the Houlton area of responsibility collected and donated a total of 8,964 pounds to the Catholic Charities Maine as part of the nationwide 2010 Feds Feed Families Food Drive. The food donations will help bridge the gap during summer months when donations are typically much less than over the holiday seasons.
"The strength of CBP is its people and anytime our officers are able to help those in need is a true sentiment of the type of individuals we value as an agency," said Director of Field Operations Kevin Weeks, Boston Field Office. "The integrity and determination shown by our officers in assisting the communities we serve is the cornerstone of who we are as an agency and I am proud of what they have accomplished."
According to Representative Dixie Shaw, Catholic Charities Maine is a food warehouse for food pantries to receive items when their levels are insufficient to cover the needs of families in their area. In 2009 alone, Aroostook County food pantries assisted with feeding 40,262 people.
Among the items collected and donated were canned goods, rice, pasta, tomato products, flour, juice, macaroni and cheese, and tuna. So far, CBP has collected 72,222 pounds of food nationally in the hopes of collecting a total of 100,000 pounds of food when all food totals are reported on September 14.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.