|Joint Council 10's truck full of food at the Potato Blossom Festival.|
We collected 30,000 pounds of food and $1,294 for needy families in Aroostook County, Me., despite our semi-tractor trailer being rear-ended by a dump truck hauling a load of asphalt on I-95.
Props to Teamsters Local 340's Women's Committee, which ran the statewide food drive from Kittery to Fort Fairfield. It involved tremendous effort and cooperation from dozens of people and organizations, and it will alleviate the suffering of many poor people in rural Maine. We should all be very proud of our Maine brothers and sisters.
Reports Local 340:
Each stop was well planned to enable convenience for donations to get on the truck and keep it moving. The road crew, driver Paul Flynn, Teamsters Local 340 office staffer Sheena-Jo Randall, business agent Sylvia Hebert, Elmet Technologies Gerry Jean and Mary Hall, business agent Dan Walsh and University of Maine’s Betty Hilton with family Gene and their son, Adam LaPointe.The truck started out on Friday at 7 a.m. at Exit 2 in Kittery, then stopped at Hostess Brands for a donation, onward to Biddeford, then the union hall in South Portland to pick up lots more donations. Onward to Auburn, but not before stopping at Keebler to pick up a generous contribution. Associated Grocers in Gardiner was next. Then Exit 112A.
We especially like what happened there:
...here we have a break and get met by members of the general public who encourage us to keep unionizing.Then:
The show must go on, so off we go to Exit 133 in Fairfield…so we thought. Off the exit the truck gets a call from our road crew that we should be at exit 132. The truck finds a safe place to turn around and heads back to the Interstate, in approach to enter 133 southbound we suddenly feel like something has blown up forcing the driver and rider up and out of the seats…thank you for seat belt laws. Realizing that we have been rear-ended by a dump truck loaded up with asphalt the food drive comes to a halt…but not for long. Our road crew is called ... The truck has received an awful blow to its tail end but it will be able to continue after a careful inspection of the damage.Exit 180 in Herman is next, then Exit 244 in Medway and Exit 302 in Houlton. A sleepover in Easton, then the crew starts the next day by loading the truck with donations from Presque Isle Teamsters.
And then, the parade starts for the 63rd Annual Maine Potato Blossom Parade, which, Local 340 tells us, has been around as long as the Teamsters in Maine. The truck was 63rd in line. A cookout was prepared for post-parade dining, a CD blared union and work songs from the truck, and the Fort Fairfield police kicked things off by driving up with an SUV full of food and cash from them and the fire department. Along the parade route, the truck was accompanied by walkers who collected more food and donations from the crowd watching the parade.
Many, many people helped out. To read Local 340's special thank yous, click here.