Thanks to the support of countless donors, partners, and volunteers, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is on track to keep pace with the growing need for food in our community during Maine’s tough winter months. More than a dozen local businesses have significantly increased their support of MCHPP programs to help address record-breaking demand from families facing food insecurity in Brunswick, Harpswell, Lisbon Falls, and Topsham.
November was the nonprofit’s single busiest month ever. Last month, MCHPP Deputy Director Hannah Chatalbash confirmed that the organization saw 1,335 visits to the Food Pantry from families looking for free groceries. That is a 50 percent increase over the number of pantry visits in January 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic. Additionally, the Soup Kitchen served over 8,300 meals, which represents a 105 percent increase over January 2020.
“MCHPP is accustomed to annual expansion. We pride ourselves on our ability to nimbly meet new pockets of need as they arise in the community, but this is simply growth at a scale that we have never seen before,” says Chatalbash. “I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t worried. Worried for the people that we see each day, worried for those who haven’t visited us yet, and worried for our community at large.”
Some of this concern is quelled by the generous and responsive donations offered by local businesses, including Biddeford and Mechanics Savings Bank Foundation, Casella Resource Solutions Group, Flight Deck Brewing, Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger, H.M. Payson, Morning Glory Natural Foods, Norway Savings Bank, Shaw’s Nourishing Neighbors, Spann Real Estate, Stantec, VividCloud and many more. “MCHPP is incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful network of supporters in the community who help us continue to fight hunger in Mid Coast Maine, as we’ve done for over 35 years,” said MCHPP Executive Director Karen Parker.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program offers dignity and empowerment by providing all members of our community with access to healthy food. Services include prepared meals, grocery distribution on-site, at local schools, and satellite locations in Harpswell and Lisbon Falls. The MCHPP food pantry–located at 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick–is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Friday from 11 am–2 pm; Tuesday evenings 4-6 pm; and Saturdays from noon–3 pm; the Soup Kitchen serves freshly made-to-go meals on Mondays–Fridays from 11 am–12:30 pm and Saturdays noon–1:30 pm. MCHPP is diligently working to maintain the health and safety of our staff, clients, and volunteers. We are committed to ensuring that our services are open and available to any and all in need.