Pantry: At 16 cents per pound, $10 goes a long way

Last Tuesday was a typical Tuesday at the Bridgton Food Pantry, which operates as an independent, all-volunteer organization out of the Bridgton Methodist Church at 214 Main Street. And just like every other Tuesday, as many as 90 families received food here.

That’s 90 families served each week, month after month — and that’s a lot of food. They arrive on Tuesdays between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m., and the food is usually gone by noon.

Miraculously, Deb Davenport, director of the Bridgton Food Pantry, and Diana Whitehouse, Bridgton Food Pantry board member, order, salvage and purchase food and supplies to meet this weekly challenge. They coordinate and oversee amazing volunteers, determine food distribution, arrange for pickup and manage all of the paperwork. In addition, on the third Tuesday of the month, 100 “to-go” bag lunches are provided by St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

The Methodist Church provides the space and covers the pantry’s utilities, and also contributes financially to this much-needed program, which operates in cooperation with Bridgton’s monthly food pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The Bridgton Food Pantry is governed by an independent board of directors, however, and is truly a community effort, dependent on the generosity of everyone in Bridgton. And food is not the only need; other items needed are coffee, paper goods and personal hygiene items.

As you are thinking about your seasonal giving, please consider a check to the Bridgton Food Pantry. All donations are gratefully received, including purchased items. Throughout the holidays, Barbara Roetman of Eliza Hugh® at 82 Main Street, Bridgton, will match all donations that are dropped off at the store. For more information on her program, call the store at 803-8052.

When volunteers from the pantry drive to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn, they are able to purchase food at 16 cents per pound. Before you buy a can of something for $1.29, consider how many pounds can be purchased if the Bridgton Food Pantry had that $1.29 to work with.

When you make a financial contribution to the Bridgton Food Pantry, you know that 100% of that money is spent on providing food to your neighbors, friends and maybe even family. Please make your check payable to "Bridgton Food Pantry" and mail to P.O. Box 207, Bridgton, ME 04009. Your donation is tax-deductible.

At 16 cents per pound, $10 can go a long way.

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