Baking for a Better World

Three Camden Rockport Middle Schoolers baked numerous tasty treats and held a bake sale in Camden over the weekend. They raised more than $200 through their bake sale to support long-time United Midcoast Charities grantees Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, Homeworthy and AIO Food & Energy Assistance.

This was part of their 7th grade “Solutionaries Project”, a project based learning collaboration between Social Studies and Language Arts classes and required students to think critically about the problems they face in the world and what they can do to solve them. Students did research around challenges that were connected to their own personal values and then narrowed in on one specific problem they wanted to focus on. From there they researched causes and impacts of that problem and met with local stakeholders and experts to brainstorm possible solutions. It is great to see these young change makers in action!


fan on table with teapotHealth and Safety

How to prepare for a Heat Wave

Just in time for our upcoming summer weather, the American Red Cross of Northern New England—one of UMC’s long-time partner agencies—offers the following tips on how to prepare for a heat wave.

Download the Complete Extreme-Heat-Safety-Checklist here.

For many of us, we are fortunate enough to have fans or air conditioning. For those less fortunate, living without a home or with out fans or air conditioning, or those working outside, this sort of event can be life threatening. It is also a good time to check in on those neighbors who are older or who may be living alone. Please note that in Rockland, the following sites are open as cooling centers open to the public.

Flanagan Center (not air conditioned): Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Rockland City Hall Council Chambers (air conditioned): Tuesday, Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Friday, 7:30 a.m. – Noon, Closed June 19, 2024

Rockland Public Library: Tuesday & Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Union Town Office: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00-4:00 p.m.

Washington Town Office: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00-6:00 p.m.

For state-wide cooling centers click here. You can sort by county to find those closest to you.

Weather forecast for Camden, Maine.

Focus Areas

Two Food Programs Announced for Summer

13% of Knox & Waldo county residents are food insecure. Of those 10,400 people, 35% are in households earning too much to qualify for food assistance. 43% of households in Knox & Waldo counties don’t bring home enough annual income to meet the basic needs for survival in this same region—let alone save for stability. Click here to learn more.


Maine Harvest Bucks is a program available at participating farmer’s markets, CSA’s, and farm stands throughout the state. The program was designed to both support our local farmers and assist community members who are otherwise unable to afford healthy, nutritious, locally-grown food. When SNAP/EBT dollars are used at farmer’s markets to purchase local food, you earn bonus bucks that can be used to purchase additional fruits and vegetables. At CSA’s and farm stands, shoppers likely get a 50% discount on their fruit and vegetable purchases. Each participating market has an information booth explaining how the process works at their location. Make sure to stop there first for all the details! 


Sadly, many kids experience hunger during the summer when school meals are no longer available. To address this, we now have Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT). Summer EBT is a program that provides low-income families with food benefits to cover the cost of additional groceries during summer break. It helps bridge the hunger gap when children are not receiving school meals. Eligible children receive $120 in Summer EBT benefits, which can be used like SNAP benefits to buy foods at authorized grocery stores and farmers’ markets. 

Click here a list of our food related grantees from this past year and where you can get food assistance.



Midcoast Habitat Dedicates Emily’s Way at Firefly Field

Together with family and friends of Emily Mecklenburg, Midcoast Habitat for Humanity (MHFH) unveiled the newly designated Emily’s Way on Saturday, June 8, 2024. The dedication of the street stands as a symbol of gratitude and remembrance, ensuring that Mecklenburg’s spirit of generosity will be honored and remembered for generations to come.

“We are deeply honored to dedicate this street to the memory of Emily Mecklenburg,” said Tia Anderson, Executive Director of MHFH. “Her legacy will be woven into the fabric of these homes, this neighborhood, and our city, inspiring us to continue her hands-on work of caring for our neighbors and building community.”

As a lasting memorial, her family has established the Broad Reach Fund at MHFH to support housing creation in Rockland and beyond. The fund has been generously supported by many of Emily’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Donations may be made to the fund in her memory to support efforts toward affordable housing. When complete the Firefly subdivision should house nearly 40 residents offering both rentals and homeownership options. Midcoast Habitat for Humanity has been a UMC grantee for more than a decade.

Give once. Support Many.



United Midcoast Charities Welcomes New Executive Director

CAMDEN, Maine – UMC announces the hiring of Becca Gildred as executive director, effective April 1. Becca brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit world. For the last 8 years she was Chief Development Officer of Knox County Homeless Coalition. Becca comes with a wealth of knowledge in development, fundraising, marketing, communications, grant writing, and public relations. These key ingredients will building upon our past successes. We look  forward to become a stronger support to our partner agencies and community.

Guided by Becca’s leadership, UMC eagerly anticipates increasing funding and support to local nonprofits. Becca wholeheartedly embraces our mission and vision. She is already positively impacting the organization. We are enthusiastic about working together to further our mission and make an impact in Midcoast Maine. Welcome, Becca!



United Midcoast Charities announces new Board Member

CAMDEN, Maine – United Midcoast Charities recently announced the addition of Larrain Slaymaker to its Board of Directors. Larrain has lived in Hope Maine for over forty years and has worked with a wide range of businesses, non-profits, government, and community organizations over her career. She has operated several marine businesses and currently owns and operates NorthPoint Yacht Charters. In addition, Larrain has served on numerous Boards including the National Resources Council of Maine, and was Chair of the Knox Local Case Resolution Committee under the Maine Children’s Cabinet. Larrain has strong personal interests in working with entrepreneurs, sustainable economic development, social capitalism, creative economies, and social justice.

We look forward to Larrain’s contributions, with a focus on Grants and Development. Welcome Larrain!

Focus Areas

2024 Grant Applications to Open at United Midcoast Charities

CAMDEN, Maine – UMC is pleased to announce that starting March 1, our annual grants application process begins. Nonprofit organizations providing services to Knox and Waldo County residents in UMC’s four focus areas of food, housing, health and safety, and economic security are strongly encouraged to apply. This application is the first step in UMC’s thoughtful months-long review process by the UMC Grants Committee and Board of Directors.

“As a relatively young nonprofit, we embarked on the grant application process last year with many uncertainties,” said Neva Allen, Founder & President of But Still I Am One, a Waldo County nonprofit supporting young adults ages 16-21 who are unhoused or home insecure. “The guidance and assistance we received from United Midcoast Charities proved to be invaluable. Their expertise helped us to navigate the complexities, and we were thrilled to secure a grant.”

The application window ends on March 31, so be sure to get your application in by that date.  To apply, visit our website at If you have any questions, please give us a call at 207-236-2299.

2023 UMC Days of GivingEvents

United Midcoast Charities’ Annual “Day of Giving” Sets New Record!

CAMDEN – United Midcoast Charities’ annual “Day of Giving” was held this past Saturday, December 9, and a record-setting 88 local retailers and restaurants from Thomaston to Belfast donated part of the day’s proceeds to support more than 40 agencies in Knox and Waldo counties providing essential services in UMC’s focus areas of food, housing, health and safety, and economic security. Thanks to the support of sponsors, participating retailers, and community members who came out in droves, UMC’s grants program will continue to grow and thrive in the new year!

“As a locally owned family business operating since 1975, we take pride in being able to support the local community,” said Sierra Dietz, owner of The Grasshopper Shops and longtime supporter of Day of Giving. “UMC provides incredible assistance for so many area nonprofits and we are happy to be able to support the work they are doing.“

Focus Areas

United Midcoast Charities Announces 42 Grant Recipients for 2023

CAMDEN— September 13, 2023 – United Midcoast Charities has awarded grants totaling $597,000 to 42 agencies providing the basic needs of food, housing, health & safety, and economic security to residents of Knox and Waldo counties.

“We’re beyond proud to be supporting local nonprofits for more than 81 years,” said UMC President John Viehman, “and this year thanks to the generosity of our donors we increased our grantmaking by 20 percent over last year. Plus we’ll also be able once again to fully fund our Urgent Needs Grants. That means there will be reserve funding for needs that arise outside our annual grants cycle.”

UMC’s board of directors announced the grant awards at a celebratory breakfast sponsored by the Samoset Resort on September 12.

In congratulating the recipients, Viehman remarked, “It’s always inspiring to see so many agencies gathered together in one place and to feel the exponential impact they have on our friends and neighbors in need here in the Midcoast!”

This year’s recipients grouped by focus area include:


  • AIO Food Pantry
  • Belfast Soup Kitchen
  • Come Spring Food Pantry
  • Knox County Gleaners
  • MCH Inc. – Meals on Wheels
  • No Greater Love Food Pantry
  • St. Bernard Soup Kitchen


  • Family Promise of Midcoast Maine
  • Knox County Homeless Coalition
  • Midcoast Habitat for Humanity
  • Midcoast Recovery Coalition


  • American Red Cross
  • Belfast Public Health Nursing
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Camden Area District Nursing
  • Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers
  • Coastal Opportunities
  • Finding Our Voices
  • Knox Clinic
  • Maine Youth Alliance – Game Loft
  • Maine Family Planning
  • Maine HealthCare at Home
  • New Hope Midcoast
  • Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County
  • OUT Maine
  • Rockland District Nursing Association
  • Sexual Assault Support Services
  • Soap Closet
  • Southern Harbor Eldercare Services
  • Spectrum Generations
  • The Beacon Project
  • Waldo County Dental Care
  • Waldo County Woodshed


  • Belfast Area Child Care Services
  • But Still I Am One
  • Penobscot Bay YMCA
  • Penquis CAP – DVIP
  • Trekkers, Inc.
  • Waldo CAP
  • Waldo County YMCA
  • Waterman’s Community Center
  • Wayfinder Schools