St. Joseph Food Pantry holding food drive Sept. 3

A shortage of food at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank’s distribution center in Auburn is leaving area food pantries scrambling for other ways to fulfill their mission of providing food to those who need it. St. Joseph Catholic Church Food Pantry trailer will be parked at Food City on Saturday, Sept. 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a special food drive to restock their larders.

“The shelves are literally empty in the salvage area,” said St. Joseph Church Food Pantry volunteer Chris Minnicozzi, referring to the Auburn Good Shepherd distribution center, which area food pantries rely on to buy food to stock their pantries. “Lots of times, we go with our trailer and our truck, and (the shelves at Good Shepherd) are virtually empty. You have to keep going back to try to get more.”

Good Shepherd’s distribution centers have been impacted by the huge increase in demand from area food pantries. St. Joseph’s food pantry is fortunate in that it does not rely on federal funding, said Minnicozzi, but has the support of parishioners and outside donors who contribute money to keep the pantry going.

However, because of the lack of food at Good Shepherd, the pantry’s volunteers have had to shop for food at Food City and other area grocery stores just like everyone else. Minnicozzi said she and the other volunteers keep their eyes peeled for sales on meat and other grocery items.

“We’re paying the same prices everyone else is paying,” so the funds that are donated don’t provide as much food as they used to, she said. To make matters worse, the church lost a whole freezer full of meat during the power outage from Hurricane Irene.

She hopes residents of Bridgton and the surrounding communities will be generous when they go shopping at Food City on Sept. 3, and buy some extra items to fill the trailer that will be parked out front.

“The number of people that need food keeps increasing exponentially — it’s scary,” said fellow pantry volunteer Joan Korb. St. Joseph Church’s Food Pantry distributes food on the fourth Tuesday of each month, taking on half the clients of the town’s other food pantry at the Bridgton Methodist Church, which distributes food on a weekly basis.

The next food distribution day for St. Joseph Church will be on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from noon to 3 p.m. If you have questions or a need for food, please call Minnicozzi at 653-9522.

Please follow and like us: