ELLSWORTH — Loaves and Fishes food pantry has recently acquired a cargo van to pick up donated food from local grocery stores. For years Hannaford supermarket has donated fresh produce, deli and bakery items every Monday, Wednesday and Friday year-round. Last year, Walmart also began to donate produce and dairy items every Wednesday and Friday. More recently, Shaw’s, joining the Feeding America program, began to donate produce and bakery each Monday. Picking up the large amounts of donated food in volunteers’ SUVs and pickups had become a challenge.
Members of the food pantry’s board of directors undertook a feasibility study to see if they could manage a van. It took a community effort for this dream to be realized. After several visits to car dealerships, they found that Darling’s Chevrolet right in Ellsworth could help it happen. When asked if Darling’s would cover the cost of painting the pantry’s logo on the panels of the van, Darling’s agreed to have it done.
The logo design was developed by the graphic arts department at Full Circle Printing. Erin Hardison of The Ellsworth American translated the logo template into a format that Gary Saunders of Finishline Graffix could use to paint the van. Linda Kimmelman, president of the board of directors for Loaves and Fishes said, “The cooperative spirit of our local businesses demonstrates the strong desire of our community to care for our fragile populations.”
Last year, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry distributed food to 9,000 individuals from 43 municipalities in Hancock County. The pantry operates food distribution sites at Sumner Memorial High School, Peninsula School in Gouldsboro, Cave Hill School in Eastbrook and sponsors the food pantry at Hancock Grammar School.
For more information on the pantry, go to its website at www.loavesandfishesellsworthme.org.