Specific Needs

The Specific Needs Program targets needy children and elderly people trying to make ends meet. We quickly realized that in addition to elderly people, many single parents and families also struggle to pay rent, get their cars repaired and keep their children provided with clothes, medical attention, and necessary supplies. We are able to assist them through the Specific Needs Program of COS. Most requests are screened through the General Assistance Offices of the three towns. We provide eye exams and glasses, clothing, medical attention, car repairs, rent, utility bill payments, gasoline and other such specific needs to those who really need emergency help.

Specific Needs Program

  • responds to requests for help for children from school nurses, social workers as well as requests from others for community individuals in need.
  • provides such assistance with eye exams and glasses, summer camp scholarships, clothing, medical attention, car repairs, rent, utility bill payments, gasoline, etc.
  • requests are referred to us through the General Assistance offices of the three towns (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel), social workers, and church pastors.


From last winter, many remember what some called the “pain in Maine” with the painfully cold temperatures that seemed like winter would never end. Those who were affected most were those whose income could not keep up with the dropping cold temps and rising costs of fuel oil. COS partners with the town offices of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel in supplying emergency fuel for those in need. We provide up to 100 gallons of emergency fuel oil to get those “in the cold” the necessary fuel to stay warm.

Fuel Aid Assistance Program

  • provides heating fuel on an emergency basis in response to requests made through the General Assistance offices of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.
  • provides up to 100 gallons of fuel oil or K-1, or the equivalent in propane.
  • runs from September 15 through May 15 although it is subject to change authorized by the COS Board of Directors.



COS is certified by Good Shepherd Food Bank which partners with Feeding America. This association enables us to purchase food at modest costs and obtain perishable food from Hannaford Supermarket at no cost. COS serves the hungry in the Kennebunks in many ways. Our Food Programs filling the most basic needs – nourishing the body – are the food pantry, school lunches and snacks, and holiday food baskets.

COS Food Pantry

  • Fresh and non-perishable foods available to any size family.
    • Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, baked goods, and prepared meals donated from area stores, farms, and community gardens.
    • Non-perishable vegetables, fruits, starches, soups & stews, canned meats, breakfast items, pasta dishes, beverages, and condiments
  • Personal and Household items
  • Pet food
  • Food Pantry Hours (by appointment only – see below)
    • Mondays: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
    • Tuesdays: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Thursdays: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Fridays: 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Food Pantry Location
  • Food Pantry Appointments

Food Drives

Individuals and businesses can support our food pantry by initiating food drives that will help stock our shelves for our food pantry. if you are interested in having a food drive, please contact us and we will be more than happy to work with you in setting that up.

Food 4 Thought Backpack Program

Here is some food for thought: Can you imagine what hunger; true excessive hunger can do to an adult let alone a child? Not only are there the physical symptoms of hunger such as depression and difficulty sleeping, but also the behavioral and educational symptoms as well.

In response to this need, a team of local businesses in the Kennebunks teamed up with Community Outreach Services (COS) of Kennebunk to develop a program to feed needy children in RSU 21. We call it the Food for Thought Backpack Program.

For more on the Food 4 Thought Backpack Program, click here.

School Snack Program

  • Providing healthy snacks for hungry children in our schools.
  • Single-serve healthy snacks for any hungry child in grades K – 12 in all RSU 21 schools.
  • Juices and snacks for children in our schools with special dietary needs.

Summer Free Lunch Program

  • Providing free lunches to children in RSU 21 schools who receive subsidized lunches during the school year.
  • Delivery of prepared healthy lunches to participating children twice a week during summer vacation.

Holiday Food Basket Program

  • For the residents in need from the towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel.
  • Provides food baskets just before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Delivery of food boxes containing a turkey or chicken and other ingredients for a festive holiday dinner.
  • Contact your town General Assistance office for more details or request using this form.