BREWER, Maine — Anticipating a difficult winter ahead for many area families and individuals, the Brewer-based labor advocacy group Food AND Medicine teamed up over the weekend with Ofelia’s Community Resource Center of Hampden for a flea-market fundraiser. Money raised during the three-day sale will be shared between the two agencies.

The sale was held at the Solidarity Center on Ivers Street in Brewer, the home of Food AND Medicine. Development director Brent Hall said much of the impressive selection of furniture, clothing, dishware, appliances, toys and more on display inside the building and in the parking lot was donated by community members in sup port of laid-off workers and their families.

Between 100 and 150 families from Millinocket, Ashland and Old Town will receive the makings of a traditional Thanksgiving feast with the Food AND Medicine funds, Hall said.

Sergio Ramos, director of Ofelia’s, said the resource center has had a disruptive year, including having to relocate several times before settling into its current home on Maine Road North in Hampden. Some of the donated merchandise at the flea market has been in storage, he said, and the agency hopes to use money from the sale to replenish dwindling supplies in its food pantry. Another food pantry, to be located in LaGrange, is in the planning stages, he said.

Ofelia’s also coordinates an annual Christmas gift program for low-income families in the Bangor area.

“A lot of people are working but just don’t have enough money to get through,” Ramos said Saturday. “People are having to choose between heating their homes and buying food.”

A second Food AND Medicine fundraiser with a Halloween theme will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Solidarity Center. A family-friendly haunted house will be open from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a harvest festival featuring local foods and children’s activities. Live music and a presentation by St. George humorist Robert Skoglund, better known as “the humble Farmer,” also will be featured. The event is free of charge, but donations will be accepted.


Meg Haskell

Meg Haskell is a curious second-career journalist with two grown sons, a background in health care and a penchant for new experiences. She lives in Stockton Springs. Email her at