Federal dollars flow into Maine to fight hunger

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine’s Androscoggin County has received a federal grant of $10,000 to combat hunger and homelessness and to help families in economic crisis.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says this is on top of previously announced dollars.

One county soup kitchen says lunch counts increased from 1,500 in September 2011 to 2,500 in May 2012.

In a related matter, a federal agriculture official who is a former Maine commissioner will visit Portland on Wednesday to discuss the Maine Hunger Initiative.

Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon will be joined by Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and several anti-hunger advocates for a news conference. Officials say more than 12,000 students in Cumberland County schools are at risk of hunger during school.