With the 2020 Maine Sheriff’s Association banquet cancelled due to COVID-19, Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett needed an alternate venue to present the county’s Maine Sheriff Association’s Community Service Award. On Jan. 18, Brackett chose the bi-weekly county commissioners’ meeting to present Healthy Lincoln County with the honor. “It is with great pleasure I nominate Healthy Lincoln County with the MSA’s Community Service Award. I guess it’s better late, than never,” he said.
Healthy Lincoln County is a local social service provider with an office in Damariscotta. HLC provides programming around substance abuse prevention, nutrition, education and healthy food opportunities countywide. HLC has partnered with the sheriff’s office for many years, but in 2020 their ability to work collaboratively and with ingenuity became nothing short of outstanding, remarked Brackett.
Prior to 2020, HLC collaborated with the sheriff’s department by supporting education and enforcement efforts in reducing alcohol access to minors and drug-take-back days by organizing through advertising and other support. The sheriff’s department, in turn, supported HLC’s summer food program by helping with free meal deliveries twice a week to school-aged children countywide.
“During 2020, when most providers were reducing services and limiting contact, HLC was expanding their programming and collaboration while finding ways to maintain many of their programs already in place,” Brackett said.
The sheriff also praised HLC for its involvement with the Lincoln County Food Initiative last year. The initiative provided access to food opportunities to people and food pantries. “Although this program was not developed solely by HLC, their proven ability to collaborate with others was a key reason those within restaurant, education, charity, government, and public health sectors were able to pull this off,” he said. “Their willingness to work with us while finding ways to continue our joint substance abuse prevention work should not go unrecognized.”
Brackett presented a plaque to HLC Director Kelsey Robinson and substance abuse coordinator Larissa Hannon.