Manna in Bangor is badly in need of donations of non-perishable food items to hand out at their pantry's new locations.

Let's start out by addressing the elephant in the room. We all know that Manna has had a tough year, closing its drug rehab operations amidst some big financial issues. They moved out of the big building on Main Street, which was then sold at auction to a local real estate developer. Bill Rae limited his control of the company to day-to-day operations, leaving the financial side of the business to be dealt with by a board of directors.

That's, unfortunately, the first thing people think of these days when hearing the word 'Manna.' But I'd like to remind those same folks that the people at Manna are continuing with their original mission - providing groceries and serving dinner to the food insecure in the Bangor area. These days, the food pantry is run out of 100 Center Street in Bangor, right next to Bangor Floral. Since the building's kitchen is not yet operational, dinner's are being served at the Brick Church, at the corner of Union and Main Streets.

Right now, Manna's pantry shelves are nearly bare, so they're desperately in need of donations of non-perishable food items. I chatted with Executive Director Bill Rae, who wanted to emphasize that the organization is not asking for financial donations. They need canned items, like vegetables, canned meats, and soups. Ramen noodles or boxes of macaroni and cheese would also be welcomed. Any non-perishable food items that can be given out to Bangor's working poor who are making tough choices between paying for medications, heating oil, or rent and buying food. Won't you please help?

Donations can be dropped off at Manna, 100 Center Street in Bangor, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. After that, the folks from Manna can be found at the Brick Church. Rae says you can just go around to the back door and volunteers will be right inside. For more information, call Manna at 852-5635.