ELLSWORTH – The Hancock County Food Drive is over and the annual event set a record. Almost 14,000 items were donated at 125 food collection sites around the county. “That’s more food than we have collected any year since we started this in 2012,” says Organizer Marjorie Peronto with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The amount of food collected will provide an estimated 11,500 meals. More than $12,500 dollars was also donated, which will buy at least 9,000 additional meals. All of the food and money will be divided between the community meal sites and food pantries that participated. “The community gave us an incredible amount of support,” says Peronto. “Really that’s what makes this a success. Volunteers can’t make it happen by themselves. Caring people also have to donate the food and money.” “Businesses went out of their way to find fun ways to get their employees and customers on board,” says Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Farley. “It was great to see so many businesses put the food drive on their signs or offer special discounts if customers donated items. Raising awareness about hunger in our communities is important. Having the businesses do this and having schools teaching their children about it accomplishes that. I’m really humbled by the support.”
Sponsors play a crucial role in making the Hancock County Food Drive a success. This year’s sponsors are Brown Family Farm ANP, Blue Hill Co-op, Church of Our Father, Diakoneint Foundation, Dead River Company, Eager Eye Photography, Ellsworth Chainsaw, Ellsworth Tennis Center, Ellsworth Uveitis and Retina Care, EZ Storage, Fair Trade Winds, Geddy’s Pub, Handmade Papers, H & R Block, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Paradis True Value Hardware, Penobscot Financial Advisors, Savage Forest Enterprise, Inc., Wallace Tent, Maine Community Foundation and United Way of Eastern Maine.