County Profile


Centrally located in the state, Penobscot County is home to Maine’s second-largest city, Bangor, and to the University of Maine.


Penobscot County at a Glance:

  • 19.1% of children under 18 live in poverty.**
  • 28.4% of children in Penobscot County receive SNAP benefits, 48.6% of school-aged children are eligible for subsidized school meals.**
  • 24.4% of children are living with food insecurity.**
  • The infant mortality rate in Penobscot County is 8.4 per 1,000.**
  • 8 per every 1,000 children in Penobscot County are in DHHS custody.**
  • 49.7% of children in Penobscot County participate in MaineCare.**
  • 43.4% of people in Penobscot County are not currently in the workforce.*
  • 18.7% of the population is under the age of 18.*
  • 35.5% of the population achieved a high school degree; 35.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.*
  • The high school graduation rate for Penobscot County is 90%.**
*Source: American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 2012-2016
**Source: Maine Kids Count 

Grants Awarded in this Region

2018Bangor Housing Authority$124,000To replicate Bangor Housing Authority's successful enhanced Family Self-Sufficiency Program program at the Brewer and Old Town Housing Authorities.Bangor, ME
2018Four Directions Development Corporation$15,000To provide support for general operations to provide access to safe, quality housing for members of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes, mostly located in Aroostook, Penobscot, and Washington counties.Orono, ME
2018Friends of Baxter State Park$20,000To expand participation in the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps, giving young people in Maine’s Katahdin region work experience, job skills, and increased confidence and aspirations.Belfast, ME
2018Goodwill Industries of Northern New England$20,000To provide support for the Job Connection Bangor program, providing wrap-around workforce development services to low-income adults with multiple barriers to successful employment such as food scarcity, unstable housing, and transportation issues.Portland, ME
2018Penquis$25,000To provide emergency home repair services to low-income families in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties whose homes have been determined to pose an "imminent threat to health or safety" to prevent homelessness, illness, and injury.Bangor, ME
2018Piscataquis Regional Food Center$3,200To provide support for a Farm Share program, providing fresh vegtables and fruit to homebound seniors living in or near Piscataquis County.Dover Foxcroft, ME
2017Bangor Housing Authority$250,000To support Families Forward, a two generation approach to improving outcomes for children, parents and families.Bangor, ME
2017Bangor Housing Authority$50,000To support summer programming with the goal of preventing summer learning loss and maintaining literacy achievement for youth.Bangor, ME
2017Ellsworth Free Medical Clinic$7,000For general operating support.Ellsworth, ME
2017Families and Children Together$25,000To provide parents and their families access to Navigator Services at the Community Home Alternative Medication Program (CHAMP) Clinic at Penobscot Community Health Center.Bangor, ME
2017Gedakina$20,000To support the LifeWays Program, which focuses on increased access to direct services for Native American families in Portland and Bangor.Bangor, ME
2017OHI$15,000To provide support for the Brewer Area Food Pantry.Hermon, ME
2017Penquis$25,000To provide support for the Piscataquis Safe Havens Center.Bangor, ME
2017Pine Tree Hospice$10,000For general operating support.Dover-Foxcroft, ME
2017Telling Room$29,950To provide project-based summer literacy programming and creative writing instruction to English Language Learners and other under-resourced elementary and middle school students in the Greater Portland and Bangor areas.Portland, ME
2017The Urban Institute$99,990To support the adaption of key components of the Urban Housing, Opportunity, and Service Together model to enhance and track outcomes for the Bangor Housing's Families Forward program.Washington, DC
2016Alfond Youth Center$49,970For community-based summer programming to address summer learning loss in Bangor's Capehart neighborhood.Bangor, ME
2016Bath Housing Development Corporation$25,000To provide comprehensive technical assistance services to four Maine Public Housing Authorities as they replicate Bath Housing’s Community Aging in Place Program.Bath, ME
2016Muskie School of Public Service$50,000To support Maine LEAP, a coordinated delivery of two evidence based programs to improve education and career outcomes for youth in foster care.Portland, ME
2016Muskie School of Public Service$65,000To support an enhanced level of coordination and organization among all service providers who work with youth in foster care.Portland, ME
2016Muskie School of Public Service$50,000To develop and implement an employer engagement strategy to address youth workforce development in Maine.Portland, ME
2016Penobscot Community Health Care$25,000To provide mental health services to clients in the Hope House Health and Living Center.Bangor, ME
2016Penquis$15,000To provide transportation assistance for individuals who do not have or cannot afford transportation to cancer treatment or support.Bangor, ME
2016Penquis$140,000To increase the quality of family, friend and neighbor care in Bangor’s Capehart community.Bangor, ME
2016Pine Tree Hospice$15,000To assist clients and families experiencing end-of-life challenges and bereavement.Dover-Foxcroft, ME
2016The Shaw House$20,000To provide mental health support services for homeless at-risk youth throughout five counties in Maine.Bangor, ME
2016University Of Maine System - New Ventures Maine$10,000To provide coordinated financial education, career planning training and individual coaching to help meet individual and program goals for Family Self- Sufficiency Programs at the Bangor Housing Authority and Lewiston Housing Authority.Augusta, ME
2016Upper Valley Economic Council$5,000To provide support for the Upper Valley Economic Council's Food Pantry, serving food insecure families in Aroostook County.Sherman, ME
2015Alfond Youth Center$44,600To implement the Smarter Summer Program at the Bangor chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs.Bangor, ME
2015Eastern Area Agency on Aging$20,000To support the Pantry Partners program, which serves low-income clients through emergency and supplemental food boxes and transportation of food from food pantries to seniors' homes.Bangor, ME
2015Food AND Medicine, Jobs with Justice Education Fund$15,000To provide funding to deliver healthy, locally grown food to SNAP users, including families in crisis, laid-off workers, seniors, and people with disabilities who need homecare.Brewer, ME
2015Friends of Aroostook$15,000To provide funding to grow, maintain, harvest, and deliver fresh produce to Area Agencies on Aging sites in Aroostook, Washington, Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties.Houlton, ME
2015Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries$300,000Three year grant for the Eastern Maine Skipper’s Program, which provides multiple pathways to high school graduation for at-risk students interested in marine related careers.Stonington, ME
2015Maine Farmland Trust$25,000To support programs that help address the needs of food insecure people in Maine.  Belfast, ME
2015Penquis$25,000To provide funding for transportation assistance for cancer patients who do not have or cannot afford transportation.Bangor, ME
2015Penquis$25,000For the Good Neighbor Fund, which is specifically targeted to Maine communities with unexpected heating needs due to recent mill closings.Bangor, ME
2015Pine Tree Hospice$15,000To provide operating support to assist clients and families experiencing end-of-life challenges and bereavement.Dover-Foxcroft, ME
2015Upper Valley Economic Council$5,000To provide support for the Upper Valley Economic Council's Food Pantry, serving food insecure families in Aroostook County.Sherman, ME
2014Bangor Housing Authority$385,000Three year grant to enhance its Family Self-Sufficiency Program through case management services that connect residents with the workforce or education and training opportunities as well as other asset building services.Bangor, ME
2014Brandeis University$387,000Three year grant to provide technical assistance to and evaluation of expanded Family Self Sufficiency and Family, Friend and Neighbor Care programs.Waltham, MA
2014Penquis$15,000To provide funding for transportation assistance for individuals who do not have or cannot afford transportation to cancer treatment or support.Bangor, ME
2014Pine Tree Hospice$15,000To provide operating support to assist clients and families experiencing the challenges and needs that accompany end of life and bereavement.Dover-Foxcroft, ME
2014Spruce Run Womancare Alliance$15,000To provide general operating support for 24 hour emergency shelter for men and women fleeing domestic violence situations.Bangor, ME
2014Women Unlimited$350,000Two year grant to provide skills training, job connections and work supports to low-income individuals in Bangor, Machias and Lewiston and align that training with the workforce needs of local industries.Augusta, ME
2013Bangor Housing Authority$20,000To develop an enhanced Family Self Sufficiency program based on data provided by Brandeis University researchers.Bangor, ME
2013Brandeis University$12,100To create a survey and interview guide to help the Bangor Housing Authority develop plans for an enhanced Family Self Sufficiency Program.Waltham, MA
2013Cancer Support Center of Maine$5,000To provide gas cards for cancer patients traveling to and from medical appointments.Bucksport, ME
2013Community Health and Counseling Services$24,250To provide remote patient monitoring for individuals age 60+ living with chronic diseases such as diabetes or congestive heart failure.Bangor, ME
2013Eastern Area Agency on Aging$100,000To support the expansion of the EZ Fix program, a year round home repair and independent living program for low-income Maine senior citizens and adults with disabilities.Bangor, ME
2013Four Directions Development Corporation$40,000To support research and evaluation of public and private investments in various affordable housing lending products on Indian Island and their impact on residents.Orono, ME
2013Hammond Street Senior Center$10,000To provide general operating support.Bangor, ME
2013Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area$15,000To improve quality of life for isolated senior citizens in rural communities who are in need of hospice and grief services.Waterville, ME
2013Penobscot Community Health Care$25,000To increase provision of home-based primary care to seniors with chronic conditions, allowing them to age in place and maintain their health.Bangor, ME
2013Penquis$20,000To provide transportation assistance (rides or financial reimbursement) for individuals who do not have or cannot afford transportation to cancer treatment.Bangor, ME
2013Pine Tree Hospice$14,250To provide general operating support to continue their mission of assisting clients and families experiencing the challenges accompanying end of life and bereavement.Dover-Foxcroft, ME
2012Eastern Area Agency on Aging$18,500To support programs that inform and educate older adults on their risk of falling and on the environmental and physical changes they can make to reduce those risks and increase independence within the home.Bangor, ME
2012Families and Children Together$25,000To provide support for Maine Kids Kin, a program for grandparents or family members who are raising children due to family separation.Bangor, ME
2012Food AND Medicine, Jobs with Justice Education Fund$10,000To provide a 50% discount for food stamp users who purchase food at two farmers markets in Bangor and through a farm share program.Brewer, ME
2012Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges$280,000A two year grant to enhance academic support services at Eastern Maine Community College.South Portland, ME
2012Four Directions Development Corporation$10,000To provide support for financial counseling and training for Maine tribal members.Orono, ME
2012Healthcare Charities$25,000To support the Oncology Support Project in Bangor, providing low-income patients with support for basic needs while they undergo treatment at CancerCare of Maine at EMMC in Brewer.Bangor, ME
2012Penobscot Community Health Care$50,000To provide access to dental care for those with lowest incomes and greatest need.Bangor, ME
2012Penquis$30,000To support the Intensive Case Management program.Bangor, ME