For folks fighting Cancer, proper nutrition can be an important tool in their battle. One local non-profit is teaming up with a Bangor coffee shop to make sure people who need this food, get it, for free.

Starbucks Food Drive 2, Liz Leavitt
Starbucks Food Drive 2, Liz Leavitt
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Matt Dexter is the Founder and Executive Director at Christine B. Foundation, a service non-profit committed to helping children and adults with Cancer in Eastern Maine.

"One of the biggest services the Christine B. Foundation provides no-cost medically tailored grocery packages; Produce, fruits, vegetables, and grains, to patients struggling with Cancer."

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Candle Photo
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Dexter says that Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in our state, which is why the organization is so invested in its mission. They meet with patients at the very beginning of their journey with the disease, often the very first appointment, to guide them on how they can face Cancer through nutrition.

"Every year about 10,000 Mainers are diagnosed with Cancer. About 20% of those come from diet, physical inactivity, and nutritional-related behaviors. So what CBF's simple premise is to help treat and prevent Cancer by improving access to and quality of food that people need."

Starbucks Food Drive 3, Liz Leavitt
Starbucks Food Drive 3, Liz Leavitt
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Dexter says the current poverty rates have shown that food insecurity is a definite issue in our state, with many Maine counties experiencing a food desert, meaning access to a proper grocery store and quality foods is limited in those areas.

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To keep the cost to patients free, Dexter says donations are something that really benefits the organization.

Recently, the Bangor Starbucks reached out to the Christine B. Foundation and offered to hold a food drive in their Hogan Road cafe.

Starbucks Food Drive 1, Liz Leavitt
Starbucks Food Drive 1, Liz Leavitt
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"We're looking for, specifically, shelf-stable dry goods to be dropped off at the Bangor Mall Starbucks. The items are dried pasta, soft granola bars, cereals, canned fruits, canned and vegetables. We go above and beyond that for what we provide patients. But for a food drive, to be picked up at a later date, those items kind of what we're looking for."

Dexter says that once collected, the food will be added to the packages and then given directly to the patients.

Starbucks Food Drive 4, Liz Leavitt
Starbucks Food Drive 4, Liz Leavitt
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"We meet patients at Mayo Hospital, in Dover Foxcroft or Cancer Care in Brewer, and we  essentially write an 18-month prescription of medically preferred foods, and they can pick it up, once a week, at their appointment, or get it dropped off at their home."

Dexter says inflation has definitely had an impact on their mission. The cost of food has definitely gone up. And the organization delivers all across the state, whether it be Eastport, Millinocket, Dover, or anywhere in between.

To donate to the Christine B. Foundation's food drive, simply drop off the needed food items into the collection basket, located in the cafe area of the Starbucks on the Hogan Road by August 1st.

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