The third annual Hancock County Food Drive is in the books.
And it will put thousands of items of food on the tables of people who can use some help.
All last month folks all over Hancock County donated food–a lot of food.
“Schools jumped in, businesses jumped in. The community response was just incredible,” said Susan Farley, Family Assistance Advocate for the Washington-Hancock Community Agency.
Volunteers brought the food to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Ellsworth where they sorted everything. The grand total? 10,630 items.
Organizers say this county-wide drive helps local food pantries accomplish something they couldn’t do alone.
“It’s an chance for us to raise some money for not only the larger pantries but also the small ones that are in remote locations,” said Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator for the UMaine Cooperative Extension.
“It just gives us an opportunity to feed more and more people, which is really what we’re about,” said Linda Kimmelman, board president at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.
At a time when the need is all too great.
“It’s actually gone up this year. We had a really tough winter with the ice storm around Christmas, and people ran out of fuel. It was so cold and people had to make choices between buying fuel or food,” said Peronto.
Now that choice will be a little easier.
After weeks of collecting donations at sites throughout the region, volunteers are now loading items into vans, and bringing them to shelters around Hancock County to help people in need.
“We had upwards of 200 volunteers working on this, and honestly everybody played an extremely important part from setting up those boxes to bringing them in when those boxes got full,” said Farley.
And now those boxes full of food are on their way to hungry people all over Hancock County.
“It’s really pleased and I’m finally smiling that we can give this to the people that need it,” said Peronto.