Food Bank

Securing, processing, storing, and distributing our agency’s food resources.

 

About

The Food Bank is where our food is delivered, processed, stored, and distributed. Monday through Saturday, volunteers collect and help sort the meats, produce, nonperishables, breads, and pastries donated to our agency. Food comes from all over the community, including supermarkets, farmers, food drives, and individuals like you. After it arrives at the Food Bank, volunteers sort through each item to ensure quality and freshness. Then items are either stored in the Food Bank, given out in the Food Pantry, made into delicious meals in the Soup Kitchen, used for our other programs, or distributed to local pantries. When necessary, Food Bank volunteers make trips to Good Shepherd Food Bank or other retailers to purchase needed items, or travel to food markets and other community events to pick up excess food.

Five food bank volunteers

Pantry Partner Initiative

In 2020, we shared over 175,000 pounds of produce, frozen meat, dairy products, eggs, bread, dry goods, and hygiene products with smaller food pantries that operate throughout the Mid Coast region.  This service allows us to help pantries with less infrastructural support (vehicles, staff, volunteers, vendor relationships, etc.) access more and higher quality food. It also helps MCHPP to reduce food waste and better meet our mission of providing people with access to healthy food by diverting food to other food pantries that would otherwise have gone unused, been composted, or given to livestock farmers.

Contact Eden Martin, Food Bank Coordinator at emartin@mchpp.org or (207) 725-2716 x307 with any questions about this initiative.

Farm to Pantry Initiative

Based on the unprecedented stress and uncertainty on the overall food system in 2020, MCHPP kicked off its own Farm to Pantry program. The program was established with a couple of goals in mind:

  • Ensure MCHPP has access to high-quality, sustainably-grown produce to distribute to our clients.
  • Support our local food system by providing farmers with a predictable market where they would be able to sell what they planted 3-6 months later at harvest time.

In a regular year it is a magical mix of faith and anxiety that gets a farmer from buying seed and planting in the spring to successfully harvesting and selling their crop in the fall. To get through 2020, they were going to need an exponential increase in the usual amount of magic. 

In 2020 MCHPP budgeted and deployed $40,000 to make these purchases from local farms, $15,000 of which was funded by the Sewall Foundation, and the rest by broad community contributions. MCHPP purchased produce and meat from Six River Farm, Stonecipher Farm, Whatley Farm, Two Coves Farm and Crystal Spring Farm.

Based on the success of this program, and the expected ongoing increase in demand for our services, MCHPP will continue this program in 2021 and will purchase at least as much produce from local farmers as we did in 2020.

More Information

Food Bank
Recycling

Besides the fact that rescuing and redistributing excessive food in the American food distribution chain helps minimize waste, our Food Bank team revamped our internal recycling efforts in 2014. This year, we made even more inroads into assisting with sustainability efforts by partnering with We Compost It, a curbside composting company.

Cyclical Need

Due to the great support of the farm community and major community food drives, incoming food donations are cyclical throughout the year. While this leaves us with great products much of the time, we always have items that we are running low on (for example: fresh vegetables throughout the winter). We will post our sporadic needs on our website, or via our facebook page.  If you have specific questions about our food needs, reach out to our Food Bank Manager, Andrew, at awoodring@mchpp.org or 207-725-2716 x309.

Volume

In 2020, the Food Bank processed almost 3,000 donations of food, totaling over 1,200,000 pounds. If not for these donations and our dedicated volunteers, we would not have enough food to feed our neighbors in need, and we would not be able to sort the donations as efficiently or effectively.

Future

Due to the growth in food donations we’ve received and food rescuing efforts we’ve undertaken, we are currently working on increasing our program capacity to distribute additional resources to those in need

Where Our Donations Come From

  • Hannaford 53% 53%
  • Shaw’s, Panera, Trader Joe’s, Target 20% 20%
  • Community Donations 11% 11%
  • Government / TEFAP 7% 7%
  • Community Food Drives 5% 5%
  • Farms 4% 4%