FAIRFIELD — Tim Martin was serving on the local school board four years ago when food insecurity in the district became a top issue, so he decided to reach out to the community and start an annual Thanksgiving food drive.

Tim Martin

In 2019, Martin’s nephew, Brady, died in a logging accident. The Thanksgiving food drive was renamed “The Brady Martin Memorial Thanksgiving Food Drive” in his honor.

On Nov. 17 Tim Martin was 25 turkeys away from achieving his goal of 125 Thanksgiving baskets for the families of Maine School Administrative District 49. In the following days, Martin and his family exceeded their goal, allowing them to provide 126 baskets to families of MSAD 49.

The Thanksgiving baskets consist of a 16- to 20-pound turkey, a can of cranberry sauce, a jar of gravy, a box of stuffing, potatoes and a reusable shopping bag.

They started collecting donations Nov. 8. Martin shared multiple Facebook posts asking his friends and family to come together for their community. In those posts, he wrote, “any excess food donations we bring to the Fairfield Interfaith Food Bank and we accept cash donations as well (as checks) made payable to The Brady Martin Memorial Fund.”

B & F Veggies of Winslow donated the potatoes. Those who donated turkeys and other food items were given the option of meeting Martin at his place of work, Cornerstone Insurance Agency in Waterville, or at the Benton Family Fun Park, which he owns.

Each year, Martin’s mother, Lorette Martin, two of his aunts, sister-in-law, sister, sons and more help out with food drives. He said this year, his sister Tori Richards delivered six Thanksgiving baskets to people’s homes.

Lorette Martin, Tim Martin’s mother, is seen sitting in tow with Thanksgiving meals bound for delivery. Photo courtesy of Tim Martin

Martin said the process is anonymous. He emails the superintendent, Roberta Hersom, to make sure it is OK to contact principals and guidance counselors, who then identify the families who are in need of a Thanksgiving basket. Once they have a number, Martin reaches out to the community for donations.

On Thursday and Friday last week, they brought the Thanksgiving baskets to schools in Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield, including Fairfield Primary. Once the baskets were delivered, families were notified so they could pick them up from the school. Additionally, there are some baskets that need to be delivered to the homes of community members who requested a basket. In those cases, the family will deliver the baskets.

Martin said the Brady Martin Memorial Thanksgiving Food Drive “is something we’re going to continue to do for years.” Additionally, the Martin family will continue helping with Christmas for Teens.

“We’ve got a great community. I love to give back; we’re very fortunate,” he said.

Since the recognition of food insecurity in the district, a food bank has been established for both junior high and high school students. The food bank is run by the Jobs for Maine’s Graduates program at the school.

“The community is very giving,” Martin said. “I’ve never reached out and not met our goal.”


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