News You Can Use from Project GRACE - March 2021
Renewal and Hope
Spring is on the way -- with its return come hope and renewal. The good news about the Covid-19 vaccine is encouraging. In the meantime, staying the course of following recommendations from the CDC are key to everyone's good health. We hope you and yours stay well. Below are links and reminders of resources you or a neighbor can use. Please stop by our website or social media for more news and updates.
News You Can Use
Keeping Our Neighbors Warm
Project GRACE's community fuel assistance fund is open to Scarborough residents, homeowners and renters, who need help keeping their homes warm. The program assists with home heating oil, K1, propane, electric, or firewood. To apply, call 883-5111 to speak with a volunteer. Typically help is available once a season, but exceptions may be made in some circumstances.
This year's 9th Annual Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm raised $30,000 for the fuel fund. Generous gifts of all sizes, from local businesses to families and individuals, make it possible for us to offer fuel assistance to neighbors who need it. Thank you to all the volunteers and the Town, especially our Rally hosts, Public Safety.
Shredding Event Benefits Pantry
Just about all of us have too much paper lying around. Not only is it cluttering up our homes, it's just waiting to be misused by identity thieves. The Lions and Saco Biddeford Savings are hosting a free shredding event on Saturday, April 10th (8am-Noon) at 41 Gorham Road. Participating is a win-win: declutter and protect your sensitive info ... plus you can help a good cause. Donations are optional and are for the Scarborough Food Pantry.
Scholarship Resources
The Maine Community Foundation awards more than $4 million each year from more than 600 scholarship funds. Follow this link for more info.
Scholarships provide financial assistance for Maine residents attending accredited colleges, universities, technical and career schools. The funds also support students attending private high schools, camps, and experiential learning programs. Each scholarship has its own eligibility requirements and review process.
Tax Relief
March is when to apply for property tax relief. Visit the assessing page for info about the State of Maine's Homestead, Veteran’s, and Blind Persons Exemptions. Applications must be submitted to the Town by April 1, 2021. The Town also has its own Property Tax Assistance Program for eligible residents 62 and older who have been Scarborough residents for at least 10 years as of the application deadline, have household adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $50,000, and have an annual property tax burden in excess of 5% of the household AGI.
COVID Vaccine Info
The Maine CDC is asking age-eligible Maine residents to make an appointment at a local vaccination site as soon as possible. Maine residents age 60 and over are now eligible for vaccination.  Find a vaccination site now.

The Maine CDC also reminds all Maine people, although the vaccine is here, COVID-19 is still a serious public health crisis and we should continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, wash hands often, and avoid gatherings.
COVID Rent & Utility Assistance
More money from the federal CARES Act is coming to Maine for emergency assistance to renters impacted by Covid-19. Eligibility requirements include: income limits, significant reductions in income or receipt of unemployment benefits, and housing insecurity. The program may cover rent and utilities payments past due back to March 2020 and up to 3 months future rent. More info and how to apply here. Funds are disbursed through the CAP agencies; for Cumberland County, this is the Opportunity Alliance in Portland.
Have you heard?
Registration for Scarborough Community Services' summer camp opened on March 1st. Camp is open to any resident child entering Grades K through 7 in the fall. Community Services is committed to providing a safe environment where everyone can make new friends, explore and develop new skills, and simply have lots of fun! Art and gym activities, theme programming, field trips, and more will take place throughout the summer. Camps will be following CDC guidelines. For details check the Community Services website.
Thanks to donations and grants, Project GRACE is distributing simple COVID-19 health kits with a couple masks, gloves, and 2oz hand sanitizer. The money is also being used to offer free disposable masks at 'help yourself' locations like the one at the Post Office at Oak Hill. We want everyone to stay healthy, so mask up! If you need a washable cloth mask, please let us know, we have some!
We have plenty of masks and would love to share them with you!
Pantries can help make ends meet when money is tight, and that's great news for Mainers who have some of the highest grocery bills in the country (so do Vermont, Washington DC, and Hawaii). The Scarborough Food Pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (1:30-4:00 p.m.) and the South Portland Food Cupboard is open Thursday mornings (8:30-11:00 a.m.). Both pantries serve Scarborough residents and are operating safely with curbside service.
What kind of food is at the food pantries? The same food you will find at any grocery store! Becase that's where the food comes from, whether donated by the stores themselves or by neighbors who pick up a few extras for the pantry.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (also called LIHEAP or HEAP) is a federal program providing money to low income homeowners and renters for heating and energy costs. Check to see if you are eligible, it's not too late to apply for assistance. You should apply even if you are over-income because some expenses may be deducted. The Opportunity Alliance in Portland (553-5900) schedules appointments for homeowners and renters in Cumberland County.
LIHEAP can also help with costly furnace repairs, utility bills, and more... check it out! >>More Info
Every year Project GRACE gives a grant to cover lunches, snacks, and milks for kids whose families don't qualify for free and reduced. Now all students learning remotely or in school can get FREE breakfast and lunches for the entire school year. Call school nutrition at 730-4700 or order online at:
It's also never too late to sign up for the "backpacks" supplemental food program from School Nutrition. Community support makes this extra help possible. For more info, call 730-4700. Your inquiries are confidential.
Efficiency Maine has resources and programs to help Mainers save energy.
It doesn't have to cost a lot to keep warm. A few small and inexpensive changes can help keep your home snug and family warm this winter. Check out these tips!

We were reminded that draft stops are effective and easy peasy. Got any other tips to share? We'd love to hear from you!
Quick Links to Scarborough Resources



We're Neighbors Helping Neighbors
The best way to reach us is to call 883-5111 and leave a message. A volunteer will return your call within a few days (we're mostly working remotely but we check messages regularly).