HOULTON, Maine — Mary Beth Foley, director of the Halton-based facility, said the Southern Aroostook Food Pantry was forced to close when food donated by Hannaford was no longer available. said there is a possibility
“A lot of people will be confused,” said Debra Hopewell, who in recent years has been delivering food boxes from the pantry to families in areas without transportation.
The Southern Aroostook Food Pantry, which serves over 400 households twice a month, has worked with Hannaford for 16 years. Foley is deeply concerned about his family. She worries that food banks in the rest of the region will not be able to cope with the flooded food once the pantry is closed. She said the facility is trying to continue supplying remaining supplies to families in the area.
On Valentine’s Day, Ms. Hannaford called Ms. Foley to tell her that there had been a change in Ms. Hannaford’s policy and that the Southern Aroostook Food Pantry was moving 26 pallets into trailers at a time each month, according to outside reporter Caitlin Koteyu. It is said that they told them that they would not directly receive the food to be loaded. Communications Manager at Hannaford Supermarkets.
“A formal notice was mailed to the pantry on the same day. Our records indicate that the last pick-up for the pantry took place in November 2022,” Corteu said. , added Hannaford is currently working with Feeding America Network. In Maine, it’s the Auburn-based Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Since Hannaford’s distribution policy change, Foley has tried in vain to partner with The Good Shepherd to become a partner on the Feeding America Network.
Good Shepherd Community Resources Director Sara Fuentes said Good Shepherd is working with several food banks affected by the Hannaford changes and assessing the needs of each community.
The Horton area has a variety of services and hours of operation to help neighbors in need, so Good Shepherd cannot partner with South Aroostook Food Pantry, Fuentes said, Foley said. told to
Jessica Donoghue, director of marketing and communications at The Good Shepherd Food Bank, said the impact of the possible closure of the hunger relief group was not taken lightly.
“The South Aroostook food pantry is a lifeline for many individuals and families in the area. We want to ensure that we have a food pantry and demonstrate our unwavering dedication to reducing hunger,” she said.
Donahue said Food Pantry can appeal the decision. All contractual obligations and Good Shepherd’s food safety requirements must be met.
In the meantime, Donahue said Good Shepherd is committed to working with partners in Horton to fill the gap should the Southern Aroostook Food Pantry close.
“In the face of adversity, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry,” she said.
Nonetheless, Foley and others who receive food pantry support say that local families have to go without food and either pay for medicine, heating or food. I think you will have to make difficult decisions.
Dixie Shaw, director of Catholic charity programs for Hunger Relief Services, disagrees with Foley’s opinion.
“There is much more to offer [in Houlton] More than anywhere else in the county,” she said, pointing to local food banks. “We ship four to six pallets each month, but if we run out, we can provide more.”
The Southern Aroostook Food Pantry has no paid staff, but has been feeding local families for 17 years. Foley and the late co-founder Ted Ivey originally started distributing USDA foods such as peanut butter, macaroni and cheese and canned fruit, Foley said. But through Ivy’s dedication, the pantry expanded with donations from McCain’s, B&M Beans, a local bakery, and eventually Hannaford.
For about 16 years, Southern Aroostook Food Pantry has contracted with local truck drivers to pick up truckloads of food and other products from Hannaford collection and distribution centers, Foley said.
Twice a month, on Thursdays and Fridays, miners from Mars Hill to Weston to Mukwahock Plantation come in for nearly two weeks of cereals, soups, canned vegetables, fruit, meat and even pet food. She said she was given two banana boxes containing
Foley said Good Shepherds Fuentes suggested that he work with one of Horton’s food pantries, including St. Mary’s Church, The Salvation Army and Horton’s Adopt-a-Blok. It says.
“That doesn’t happen,” Shaw said, but didn’t elaborate on why local pantries aren’t partnering with Southern Aroostook Food Pantry.
Shaw said Feeding America has strict guidelines.
Despite this, Foley has repeatedly contacted The Good Shepherd and attempted to cooperate. She worries about her family, who she has served for many years, but other food banks have a harder time cooperating, she said.
Volunteer Hopewell agreed. Too many people can’t go out without a car, she said, and the opening hours of other grocery stores are inconvenient.
“This keeps people from going hungry,” says Foley. “If we don’t get them to work with us, we’ll have to close. There’s a huge need here. I don’t think any other place would be able to handle the overflow.”