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Can-do attitude helps fight hunger in Maine

“We took the opportunity at this event to really highlight one of the basic needs issues that faces our community," Shirar Patterson said.

BANGOR, Maine — Heart of Maine United Way brought many local organizations together for the “United We CAN Food Drive,” which was equal parts fun, creative, and helpful.

Local organizations including Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, and the City of Bangor used their imaginations to make art with canned goods.

“Our statue is Paul Bunyan and I think we are chopping down hunger with this,” Jessie Pottle from the local business Haley Ward said.

Many began creating their canned sculptures while the sun was still rising, bringing drawn-out plans, a can-do attitude, and a mind for creation.

In the back of everyone’s mind were the families and individuals that would benefit from the event.

While taking shapes such as beehives, the state of Maine, and local logos, the canned goods went directly towards feeding Mainers after the event.

“There have been more than 4,900 cans used today, and that is going to provide 3,700 meals for families and it actually equates to more than $11,000 in value," Patterson said.

Food donations went on to be distributed throughout southern Maine by Wayside Food Programs and Youth Full Maine with the goal of tackling food insecurity in the state.

The competition at Bass Park ended with 66 percent of the votes and first place going to Hannaford’s sculpture.

In Portland, United Way of Southern Maine held its own "United We CAN" food drive and sculpture contest.

Teams from companies including L.L. Bean, Hannaford, and Idexx came up with creative ways to display their food donations.

All the food donations are now heading to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations battling hunger.

“Just a simple fun event is just a huge impact on our community," Patterson added.

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