The OHI Brewer Food Pantry needs to raise about $40,000 to pay for a new roof and repairs from water damage to its facility at 222 North Main St.
If the organization can’t raise the money to pay for the completed work, it would have to close the food pantry that serves families in Brewer, Eddington and other nearby communities, Rich Romero, resource development director with OHI, warned Tuesday.
The food pantry’s annual budget is about $67,000, and it can’t cover the expense of the needed building work, he said.
It is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and serves about 335 families a week.
Renee Doble, deputy director for economic development in Brewer, said the pantry is vital to the city, especially during the pandemic and as food prices rise.
“We are seeing more people asking for help, and the OHI Brewer Food Pantry is where we send them,” she said Tuesday. “They are a great resource and we are happy to have them here.”
Romero said that OHI put off having a new roof installed, at a cost of about $30,000, for as long as it could. But the organization decided earlier this year that the work had to be done.
Work began in late fall, but heavy rain on Oct. 30 caused about $10,000 in water damage inside the building that is not covered by insurance because a drain clog caused by a bird allowed water to get into the building.
“We rely entirely on donations and grants, and grants won’t pay for a new roof,” Romero said.
The clogged drain caused the pantry to close for a day, but it did not lose a large amount of food, he said.
OHI, a Bangor-based nonprofit that provides services and support to adults with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, bought the building in 2013 after St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church decided the previous year it could no longer sustain the food pantry in its basement.
Donations may be made through OHI’s website, ohimaine.org, or mailed to OHI’s offices at 203 Maine Ave., Bangor.