HAMPDEN, Maine — The Hampden Neighborhood Food Cupboard is making sure families are staying fed and healthy during COVID-19.
Every Wednesday, people living in Hampden have the option to pick up a box of food for free. Boxes include canned goods, cereal, snacks, bread, fresh produce, and meat.
The pantry also provides a school box program that is helping more than 100 families every week.
"As a Good Shepherd partner, we have access to both the products for free and access to basic pantry items at a significantly reduced price, it has made an enormous difference, it has made a difference in our clients getting a healthier basket," said Sue Hahn, the Director of the Hampden Neighborhood Food Cupboard.
"Our clients will be able to get bread and bakery, produce, deli as well as the canned goods," said Hahn.
Hahn says the food cupboard is serving about fo families a week.
"We have experienced about a 20 to 25 percent increase," said Hahn.
When COVID-19 hit Maine, L.L.Bean workers partnered with the Good Shepherd Food Bank and prepared food boxes to donate the to Mainers in need throughout the state in pantries.
"We’re ensuring that anyone receiving these three to four weeks of shelf-stable products are also receiving fresh potatoes and apples, which is being done through 'Mainers Feeding Mainers.'" said Jessica Donahue from the Good Shepherd Food Bank in regards to the L.L. Bean boxes.
Hanh says she thinks there are families the cupboard is not yet reaching in the Hampden area.
"It is difficult for people to ask for assistance when they've never had to, but we are committed to finding food one way or another, either through Good Shephard, purchasing through Hannaford whatever we need to we are committed to serving our neighbors," said Hahn.
Linda Mosley has been a volunteer for 25 years.
"The nature of what we are able to offer our friends and neighbors in the community, has improved tremendously and has much more variety, and especially the fresh produce is a huge gift," said Mosley.
On Thursday, April 7, NEWS CENTER Maine is hosting its annual 'Feed Maine' telethon. All of the money raised will go to the Good Shepherd Food Bank to raise money for emergency food boxes.