UMC Awards $500,000 in Grants to 39 Local Agencies

CAMDEN—In its 80th year, the Board of United Midcoast Charities announced this year’s grants will provide $500,000 to 39 agencies providing the basic needs of food, housing, health & safety, and economic security to residents here in Knox and Waldo counties.

“Thanks to the strong support from our donors,” said UMC President John Viehman, “we not only reached our grantmaking goal, we’ll also be able to fully fund our Urgent Needs Grants. That means there will be reserve funding for needs that arise outside our annual grants cycle.”

A celebratory breakfast sponsored by The Samoset Resort is scheduled in early September. Viehman adds, “It’s 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’s Soup Kitchen

The Kindness Programs



Coastal Opportunities

Knox County Homeless Coalition

Midcoast Habitat for Humanity

Midcoast Recovery Coalition



Belfast Public Health Nursing

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Camden Area District Nursing

Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers

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

Waldo County Dental Care

Waldo County Woodshed



Belfast Area Child Care Services

Penobscot Bay YMCA

Penquis CAP- Head Start

Restorative Justice Project

Trekkers, Inc.

University of Maine at Augusta Rockland

Waldo CAP

Waldo County YMCA

Waterman’s Community Center

Wayfinder Schools


Founded in 1942, UMC energizes Midcoast Maine nonprofits through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. UMC’s primary focus areas are food, housing, health & safety, and economic security. Learn more about United Midcoast Charities by visiting or call 207-236-2299.


75+ Local Businesses Support “Day Of Giving”

The Annual Day of Giving on Saturday, December 18 showcased more than 75 area businesses who, in partnership with United Midcoast Charities, supported dozens of Midcoast nonprofits in Knox and Waldo Counties.

Residents who still needed to do their holiday shopping or enjoy a Yuletide meal visited these community-minded retailers and restaurants in Camden, Rockland, Rockport, Belfast, Thomaston, Lincolnville and Northport.

“This is a fun day to shop and dine locally while paying it forward at the same time,” explained UMC’s Executive Director John Viehman. “UMC provides vital funding to more than 50 Midcoast nonprofits who provide the most basic needs of food, housing, health and safety, and economic security here in our communities. We are grateful to the many local retailers and restaurants making a contribution or donating part of their day’s proceeds to UMC’s Grant Program during this holiday season. As always, 100 percent of all donations go directly to the local nonprofits we support.”

Area Businesses participating in UMC’s December 18th’s Day of Giving were:

BELFAST: All about Games, Belfast Co-op, Brambles, City Drawers, Colburn’s Shoe Store, Heavenly Yarns, Left Bank Books, Out on A Whimsy Toys, Rollie’s/Rollie’s Remote Catering, Second Hand Eve, The Good Table, The Porch, and Vinolio 

NORTHPORT: Maine Alpaca Experience 

LINCOLNVILLE: The Red Cottage 

CAMDEN/ROCKPORT: Antiques@10 Mechanic, Carver Hill Gallery, Leonard’s, Maine Seaside Treasures, Once A Tree, Planet Toys, Seadog Brewing Company, Serendipity Fine Consignment, Small Wonder Gallery, Sugar Tools, The Leather Bench, Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe, Zoot Coffee, RAYR and The Wine & Cheese Shop 

ROCKLAND: Clan MacLaren, Flowers by Hoboken, fourTwelve, Grasshopper Shop, hellohello Books, Huston Tuttle, In Good Company, Loyal Biscuit, Main Street Markets, Primo Restaurant, Rock City Cafe, Seagull Cottage, Side Country Sports, and The Wine Seller 

THOMASTON: FlipSide Coffee, and Coastal Mountain Chiro 


UMC Selected For Hannaford Bloomin’ 4 Good Program

CAMDEN, Maine – Brighten your day with a bouquet that gives back to the local community!

The Camden Hannaford has chosen United Midcoast Charities (UMC) as the benefiting non-profit in the store’s brand-new Bloomin’ 4 Good Program in August. For every $11.99 Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquet purchased from the store at 145 Elm Street, UMC will receive a $1 donation.

“Flowers can make someone’s day, brighten up a room or spread a smile,” said UMC Executive Director John Viehman. “Now those blooms can help even more people! We are thrilled to benefit from Hannaford’s unique and impactful Bloomin’ 4 Good Program, as the demands of those in need are higher than ever this year.”

UMC is a non-profit based in Camden, Maine. Founded in 1942, it energizes Midcoast Maine non-profits through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. UMC’s primary focus areas are food, housing, health & safety, and economic security. Learn more about United Midcoast Charities by visiting

For details about the Hannaford Bloomin’ 4 Good Program, please visit

Agency Events

2021 Grantees Announced: 34 nonprofits awarded total of $464,750

CAMDEN – July 27, 2021 – United Midcoast Charities has awarded $464,750 to 34 nonprofits that address the most basic needs for food, housing, health and safety, and economic security in Knox and Waldo counties.

UMC’s grants committee selected the recipients after a thorough competitive review that used an accelerated, online grant application process developed last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although the Midcoast has returned to some semblance of normalcy in recent months, many of our friends and neighbors still face enormous challenges,” said UMC President Lori Alexander. “We met urgent needs in 2020 by speeding up our grantmaking process and giving our grantees more freedom in their use of their funding. We also created a Rapid Response fund to address emergencies that arose due to the COVID pandemic. Our successes last year confirmed the importance of flexibility in addressing today’s needs.”

At a breakfast generously sponsored by Allen Insurance & Financial, Bangor Savings Bank, and The Samoset Resort on July 13, the following agencies received grants:

FoodBelfast Soup Kitchen, MCH Inc. Meals on Wheels, No Greater Love Food Pantry, and St. Bernard’s Soup Kitchen.

HousingKnox County Homeless Coalition, Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, and Mid Coast Recovery Coalition.

Health & SafetyBelfast Public Health Nursing Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, Maine Family Planning, Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County, Maine Youth Alliance, Knox County Health Clinic, New Hope for Women, One Less Worry, OUT Maine, Parent Program of Mid-Coast Maine, Rockland District Nursing Association, Sexual Support Assault Services, Soap Closet, MaineHealth Care at Home, Waldo County Dental Care, and Waldo County Woodshed.

Economic SecurityBelfast Area Child Care Services Inc., Penobscot Bay YMCA, Penquis CAP, Restorative Justice Project, Station Maine, Trekkers, UMA Rockland Center, Waldo Community Action Partners, Waldo County YMCA, Waterman’s Community Center, and Wayfinder Schools: Passages Program.

For further details about the grantees, visit

Economic Security

UMC Launches Stimulus Drive to Aid Those in Need

CAMDEN – March 15, 2021 – As recently announced stimulus payments arrive, many individuals and families will find relief from pandemic-related financial challenges. But if you receive money you do not need, United Midcoast Charities offers this solution: Donate part or all of your stimulus check to UMC.

One hundred percent (100%) of all contributions will provide much-needed funding to more than 50 nonprofit organizations that work diligently to provide food, shelter, health & safety, and economic security for more than 27,000 residents in Knox and Waldo.

“Our grantees have helped ease the challenges many of our neighbors have faced during the past year,” says UMC President Lori Alexander. “While there is starting to be an end in sight, the need for food, shelter, and other necessities has soared and will continue to be high for the coming months. We welcome contributions of any size from people who want to put their stimulus payments to excellent use.”

For more information about how you can help more people get through the pandemic, visit



John Viehman Named United Midcoast Charities Executive Director

We’re pleased to announce that the board of United Midcoast Charities (UMC) has selected John Viehman as its new executive director.

Viehman has had a long publishing and broadcasting career while also engaging in many community activities. His magazines and two PBS series, “Trailside” and “Anyplace Wild,” received multiple National Magazine Awards and Emmy nominations, and he has frequently provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress in support of outdoor recreation and wilderness preservation. In recent years, he has been a sales representative for the Courier Publications and VillageSoup network of news outlets.

Viehman joined the UMC board in 2014 after serving for six years on its communications committee. He was UMC’s board chair and president from 2015 through 2019. During that time, the organization undertook a strategic planning process to develop its explicit vision, mission, values, goals, and supportive work plans. As part of that process, UMC hired Williams, who worked closely with Viehman to create comprehensive policies and procedures.

Viehman serves on the boards of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Rockport Library Foundation, and on the Rockport Planning Board. He is a past mentor and Midcoast coordinator for the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs’ “Top Gun” business mentoring program and belongs to the West Bay Rotary Club.

UMC President Betsy Saltonstall welcomed Viehman’s appointment:

“John’s firm devotion to that mission, his deep experience as a UMC volunteer, and his skills as a professional communicator have already contributed greatly to our progress during the past several years. We are delighted to know that he soon will be leading us as executive director.”

Viehman, who will assume his new role on November 5, said, “Taking on the role of executive director is one of those rare opportunities where I can apply the best practices and skillsets I’ve honed throughout my professional career and merge them with my passion for improving the welfare of our community. It really is a dream job for me.”

Identifying needs. Supporting solutions.
United Midcoast Charities energizes Midcoast Maine nonprofits through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. Our focus areas are food, housing, health & safety and economic security.

For more information, visit


Funding Available for Knox County Emergency Food and Shelter Program

UMC has convened a Local Board and applications are now open for Federal Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) funding. Knox County was awarded $29,912 through the current EFSP and CARES funding cycle to provide resources to local organizations that meet emergency food and shelter needs.

EFSP and CARES funding will support special emergency assistance in the areas of food, shelter, or rent, mortgage, and utility assistance to be used by May 31, 2021. EFSP funds are intended to provide assistance over and above those services already provided through agencies’ annual budgets. The minimum award amount for these phases is $5,000.

UMC will provide administrative support for Knox County EFSP and CARES distribution. Funding decisions are made by the Local Board of community volunteers, under the guidance of the State Set-Aside Committee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To be eligible for funds, an organization must: hold a 501c3 tax designation; have adequate accounting and information systems to support required documentation; practice nondiscrimination; demonstrate the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter services in Knox County; and document a current valid volunteer board.

The application will be available soon at or by calling 207-236-2299. All interested agencies are encouraged to consult Local Board chair Kelly Carey by phone or at for support in crafting a strong application. Applications are due by 5 pm, Sunday August 23rd.



UMC Convenes Local Board to Distribute EFSP and CARES Funds

UMC is convening the Local Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to distribute federal funding for emergency food and shelter in Knox County. These funds will be made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program began in 1983 with a $50 million federal appropriation and was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people.

The Phase 37 Local Board, assembled by United Midcoast Charities, is charged with distributing available funds. The Local Board will determine how the funds will be awarded and distributed among providers of emergency food and shelter in Knox County. The Local Board is responsible to review and recommend agencies to receive these funds, and any additional funds made available under all phases of the program.  Any nonprofit, faith-based, or local government agency that provides emergency food and shelter services in Knox County may apply for funding under both EFSP and CARES.

Agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact United Midcoast Charities for an application. Applications will open in early August and funding will be awarded by early September. Interested agencies are encouraged to call UMC Program Coordinator Kelly Carey at 207-236-2299 as early as possible.


UMC Partners with Full Plates Full Potential to Feed Kids

UMC recently partnered with the statewide student hunger prevention organization, Full Plates Full Potential, to help provide grants to school districts in Knox and Waldo counties. UMC’s new Rapid Response Fund (RRF) has made this funding possible as hunger rates are expected to soar due to the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Making sure kids have access to nutritious meals every day is a top priority,” said Full Plates Full Potential Co-Director Justin Alfond. “We are pleased to collaborate with UMC during the pandemic to help make summer meals available for children in Knox and Waldo counties. And we’d like to thank the community members who have contributed to UMC’s Rapid Response Fund.”

Every dollar donated to UMC’s Rapid Response Fund is put to use for RRF grants. RRF funding decisions and awards have a one-week or less turnaround time. Additional contributions from the community will help with emergency needs, such as:

•                     Food for local pantries experiencing an unprecedented surge in need

•                     Soup kitchens seeing more families needing hot meals for the first time

•                     Housing solutions for homeless families

•                     Help and housing for domestic violence victims

•                     Meal delivery service for home-bound and elderly folks

•                     In-home nursing services to keep elderly patients out of the ER


UMC’s initial goal is to raise at least $100,000 to help with local pandemic-related needs. For more information and to contribute, please visit For a full list of summer meal grantees, please visit

Penobscot Bay YMCANews

United Midcoast Charities Awards $442,000 in Grants to Meet Essential Needs

Funding for Knox and Waldo Counties

Photo courtesy Penobscot Bay YMCA
Caption: Penobscot Bay YMCA received a 2020 UMC grant to help provide access to childcare for Knox County and Lincolnville residents.

UMC has expedited our annual grants review process to award $442,000 to 32 nonprofits in Knox and Waldo counties earlier than usual to ease financial burdens brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will help residents with needs in four focus areas: food, housing, health and safety, and economic security.

“It’s an honor and privilege to announce this year’s UMC grant awards three months ahead of schedule,” said United Midcoast Charities Board President Betsy Saltonstall. “This early release of funds will enable our nonprofit partners to meet the increased needs they’re encountering in our communities as they continue and expand their work.”