As part of their ongoing commitment to the people and economic vitality of northern Maine, Irving Woodlands has committed $30,000 to support efforts to fight hunger in Aroostook County. The donation was presented today to leaders with Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), who will support efforts County-wide, targeting low-income families struggling to put food on the table, especially in light of the pandemic.
Irving Woodlands, LLC., was again set to be the title sponsor for the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog 250-mile race in Fort Kent. With the cancellation of this year’s event, like many others due to COVID-19, the company wanted to direct the funds to benefit people of the region.
“The annual dog sled race is a favorite on our calendar – for our company and employees. It’s a great opportunity to connect with our neighbors and share in the amazing community spirit that makes the event possible. With the event not happening this year we wanted to give back to community groups that make such a powerful difference to those in need. We worked with the great folks at ACAP last spring and connected with them again to see how we might help,” explained Doug Cyr, Regional Human Resource Manager Irving Woodlands, LLC.
In honor of what would have been the 29th Annual Can-Am Crown Sled Dog Races, and for all the northern Maine community has done to host the activity for nearly three decades, Irving Woodlands making the gift to ACAP on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who commit themselves to hosting the popular event year after year.
For its part, ACAP will work with community organizations to ensure the dollars are directed to support those in need from the St. John Valley to southern Aroostook. The agency, which operates in nine locations across The County, has 170 staff – including family coaches and navigators – that work directly with low-income households and others in need.
“Our team members have done heroic things to support Aroostook County households through this most difficult year. This generous support from Irving Woodlands, will help us fill the gaps where other programs and services fall short and families, alongside our team, are left struggling to find resources,” said Jason Parent, ACAP CEO. “We are ever so grateful to Irving company leadership and the hardworking employees who continue to not only invest in the economic livelihood of our region, but the people who make our community the wonderful place it is. This donation will make a tremendous difference throughout our region in the coming months, while we all look forward to better days, including the return of the Can-Am races next year.”
Since the very early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic ACAP has been quick to respond to community needs region-wide. Among the initiatives, the agency has prepared and delivered more than 100,000 meals to families, operated an emergency 24-hour wellness shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness, administered several rental and utility assistance programs, and provided quarantine social supports for individuals asked to isolate or quarantine because of suspected exposure or diagnosis with the virus. This week, ACAP launched a new Vaccine Helpline to assist individuals under the age of 60 who are unable to schedule appointments call to receive assistance in getting their shots.