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Maine food pantries see rising need ahead of the holidays

The Biddeford Food Pantry also said donations are down 15-20% compared to this time last year.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — As the holidays get closer, the Biddeford Food Pantry is seeing the need for food at an all-time high.

"Our biggest month is November. Our second-biggest month is December," Don Bisson, president of the Biddeford Food Pantry, said. 

The pantry also said donations are down 15-20% compared to this time last year.

The Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program said it's also seeing an uptick in need and added supply chain issues are making groceries more expensive.

"If folks who would normally spend that money at the grocery store, and come and get free food from us for their Thanksgiving meal, then maybe they can save some of their resources," Heather Arvidson, volunteer and client services manager at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, said.

Twenty percent of kids in Maine face food insecurities, according to Good Shepherd Food Bank. It said while the bank isn't falling short of donations, it is seeing a decline in volunteers.

The charity said in addition to food donations, money is also important to the agencies and pantries.

"It allows them to go out and buy things that they need that they might not normally get in donations. The things I think of are diapers or formula," Dawn DiFiore, director of community partnerships at Good Shepherd Food Bank, said.

The Biddeford Food Pantry said it isn't taking food items from people's cupboards because of COVID, but added food from food drives and cash are always welcome.

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories. 

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