BAR HARBOR, Maine — Editor’s note: You are starting to hear the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means.
More than ever, families are turning to food pantries to help feed the members of their families. The Bar Harbor Food Pantry is offering curbside pickup, a new way to keep the pantry going during this COVID-19 outbreak.
Currently, the pantry just has two volunteers making boxes. Only two because that is what the pantry can accommodate to follow the CDC guidelines and the six feet social distancing rule. Now, you can call (207) 288-3375 to place your pick-up order.
"We just set them on the picnic tables behind you, they drive by, pick up and drive off," said Jennifer Jones, the Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Food pantry.
The Bar Harbor Food pantry is now trying to accommodate 130 families a week. That is 40 more families than just a couple of weeks ago, where they were typically serving 90 families.
"And I know we are not reaching everybody that needs it," said Jones.
Not reaching everybody and pushing families to pick-up boxes of food the next week. That is because the staff is reduced to follow the current CDC guidelines. But luckily, the current staff is doing what they can to feed everyone that calls and places an order.
Sara Graves got all the essentials in her box.
"A lot of veggies..fresh veggies and fruits are really good right now, milk, eggs, cheese," said Graves.
Responding to the increased food need these days is the Good Shephard Food Bank. They say some agencies have temporarily suspended operations due to the lack of manpower to keep the pantries running. The Good Shepherd Food Bank is doing what they can to open back those food pantries and meal sites that have closed during the outbreak.
All throughout the state, there are over 400 different sites that are safely operating and feeding many families that need help these days keeping their shelves stocked. Click here for a food map of the state.
"A lot of our blue collar middle class working families, that we're just getting by are no longer getting by," said Jones.
Approximately 200,000 Mainers rely on food agencies like the Bar Harbor Food pantry, and the Good Shepherd Foodbank estimates that with layoffs from the pandemic, the number of people needing food is going to get worse.
"I think it's absolutely critical, I consider ourselves essential workers if we don't keep our door open people are going to go hungry," said Jones.
Please consider donating to the NEWS CENTER Maine Feed Maine Project and help Good Shepherd Food Bank distribute meals and provide food education to hungry Mainers. Click here to donate.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus