Food drive raises record-setting $37K

ELLSWORTH — The 2020 Hancock County Food Drive, which takes place annually in March, raised $37,641 and collected 5,000 food items, resulting in 150,731 meals for community members in need, according to Healthy Acadia.

Donations were divided evenly among the following Hancock County food security organizations:

Bar Harbor Food Pantry, Bib & Tucker, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Common Good Soup Kitchen, Emmaus Homeless Shelter, Everybody Eats! Community Meal, HOME Co-op, Hancock Grammar School Backpack Program, Life Line Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, MDI Backpack Program, Miles Lane School Friday Food Program, Open Table MDI, The Magic Food Bus, The Simmering Pot Community Meal, Weekend with EE! Backpack Program, The Welcome Table and What’s for Suppa? Food Pantry.

Throughout the month of March, volunteers collected donations at retailers, grocers, banks and markets as part of the project’s county-wide Kick-Off Event, and during the Spring Fling to Fight Hunger fundraiser at The Farmhouse Inn in Blue Hill. When the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Maine in mid-March, the remainder of the project’s events were canceled. Despite these challenges, 2020 has been the food drive’s most successful fundraising year to date, thanks to support from the Maine Community Foundation, local businesses, community members and a $10,000 anonymous donation.

The Hancock County Food Drive is organized by Healthy Acadia, United Way of Eastern Maine, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and local food security organizations, with support from the Maine Community Foundation, Star 97.7 and Maine Coast Mall.

“Due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, food insecurity in our communities has risen significantly,” according to organizers. “You can help alleviate hunger by making a donation to a food security organization in your community.”

Volunteers also are needed for the Gleaning Initiative, which collects surplus fruits and vegetables on farms and redistributes it to hunger relief organizations.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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