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United Way of Southern Maine collects 25K+ meals for pantries

MAINE (September 23, 2023) — United Way of Southern Maine (UWSM) has announced that they collected 25,868 meals to address hunger and food insecurity at the United We CAN Food Drive + Sculpture Contest on Friday, September 15. The Food Drive brought in 17% more donations than in 2022.

The following organizations organized drives, donated needed items, or provided logistical resources in support of the food drive:

Baker Newman Noyes


Bissell Brothers

CCB, Inc.

Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine

Colby Company Engineering

Dead River Company

Haley’s Metal Shop, Inc.

Hannaford Supermarkets

Hussey Seating Company




Martin’s Point Health Care

NBT Bank

Northern Light Health

RTS Packaging

Systems Engineering

Texas Instruments

Thompson’s Point

University Credit Union

VELUX Greenwood, LLC.


Wright-Ryan Construction


Zachau Construction

Maine food banks continue to experience high demand, and food pantries are reporting more people using the pantries to help make ends meet. The food collected will help fill the shelves at pantries and partners across Southern Maine through Wayside Food Programs and Youth Full Maine.

“Every year, this generous drive keeps school food pantries in York County stocked through the fall,” said Katie Brown, Executive Director, Youth Full Maine. “I don’t have the words to express how tremendous this event is.”

This annual event was held at Thompson’s Point in Portland for the first time. Seventeen local companies competed by building larger-than-life CAN-structions onsite. In the end, they dismantle the structures and donate all the cans, providing a tremendous amount to the food drive efforts. This years’ panel of judges include Katie Brown at Youth Full Maine; Jon Chrisos, WMTW-Channel 8 Anchor; Don Morrison, Operations Manager at Wayside Food Programs; and Esi Seng, President and CEO of Tate’s Bake Shop and United Way’s 2023 Campaign Chair awarded four prizes while event attendees cast their votes for the Community Choice award.

2023 Can Sculpture Contest Award Winners:

Small + Mighty Award (best sculpture by a small business with under 100 employees): Colby Company Engineering

Rookie Award (best sculpture by a new team—1st or 2nd year): Hussey Seating Company

Best Meal Award (best sculpture with the ingredients for a well-balanced, healthy meal): Wright-Ryan Construction

Best in Show (Judges select the best in show based on the design (originality and creativity), craft (balance, proportions, detail, and use of space), and amount of food collected): CCB, Inc.

Community Choice (Event attendees cast votes for their favorite sculpture): WEX

About United Way of Southern Maine: United Way of Southern Maine works with the community to quickly respond to emerging needs and tackle persistent issues that hold people back from achieving financial stability and leading healthy lives. UWSM mobilizes the ideas, expertise, and resources of more than 300 businesses, foundations, government, and nonprofit partners and thousands of individuals to close gaps in early childhood development, create pathways to educational and employment opportunities, and increase access to mental health care and addiction prevention and intervention services. Learn more at

Hussey Seating Company Wins Rookie Award – L-R Erica Maguire, Jessy Francois, Mike Little, Erica Plasse, Joanne Adebayo, Tom Hussey and staff, and Esi Seng, President and CEO of Tate’s Bake Shop and UWSM 2023 Campaign Chair.

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