Image Caption: Cooking in the Community Kitchen for the Islesboro Community Care and Comfort Program. The project recently received a grant from UMC’s Rapid Response Fund.

Funds for Food, Shelter, Basic Needs

UMC’s first round of grant recipients have received awards from the new Rapid Response Fund (RRF), which the organization created to provide stopgap support for local nonprofits during the covid-19 pandemic.

The first round of grants totaled $7,750: $5,000 to Knox County Homeless Coalition to fund temporary and safe housing solutions; $1,500 to Islesboro Community Center’s Care and Comfort Program for food and supplies for community kitchen meal delivery to shut-ins; and $750 to One Less Worry to supply toilet paper for local food pantry clients.

In addition to individual donors, several local organizations have stepped up to partner with UMC on the Rapid Response Fund. They include Bangor Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, and West Bay Rotary. West Bay Rotary launched a challenge campaign on April 14, calling on the community to match the club’s pledge of $5,000. To donate through their campaign and double your donation, visit

Since the onset of the pandemic, UMC has received far more requests for this type of urgent funding than the current fund balance can support. When donations come in, 100 percent are put to use immediately. RRF funding decisions and awards have a quick one-week or less turnaround time. Nonprofit requests of at least $50,000 are awaiting funding to help with:

  • Food for local pantries (pantries are hitting record highs in food services, giving out more food boxes in two hours than they typically give out in a month, with 70 percent going to first-time clients)
  • Additional housing solutions for homeless families
  • Domestic violence hotlines currently experiencing increased call volume
  • Increased demand for meal delivery service for home-bound and elderly folks.
  • Crucial need for support among those in substance abuse recovery
  • Essential public transportation for single riders who have essential jobs or needs.

UMC’s Executive Director Megan Williams says this is the tip of the iceberg, and she fully expects needs for services to continue to grow for several months.

UMC’s initial goal is to raise a minimum of $100,000 to help with local pandemic-related needs. For more information and to contribute, please visit