Bringing a Food Cupboard to Dexter: Andrew Bermudez's Search For a Building
When I first came to Dexter 8 years ago I was awestruck by the beauty of the rolling hills and the beautiful lakes. What I soon came to realize was while there was much natural beauty, there was also much need. Very early on I had the desire to help those in need, especially those who suffered from food insecurity.
As I began to network throughout the region I noticed some places were set up well with answering this need and some others lacked greatly. After doing some more research about Dexter, I noticed that while there was opportunity for people’s food needs to be met, there were many who would fall through the cracks because of the state income guidelines that would need to be followed in order for them to qualify. This did not and still does not still well with me.
This is when I learned about the Good Shepherd Food bank and the Piscataquis Regional Food Center (PRFC). Connected with both of them opened up my eyes to the option and availability of resources for anyone in need of food. After my visit to the PRFC I was greatly encouraged that something like this can happen, and happen in my town of Dexter!
However, I saw the mountain of the task in front of me and I was a bit intimidated. Erin urged and encouraged me to pursue it and pursue it I have. I have been able to get two people who would like to be co-directors once it opens and have people ready to donate money and resources.
The first big hurdle that needed to be achieved before I could proceed was location. Where could this place be located? I had my check list and wish list of what a building would need to have. Many places and options came up and each one fell through. This was quite discouraging, however, I knew I just had to keep the faith and keep looking.
After a year of looking and asking around we were donated a three story building right on Main St by a very generous couple! This is such a massive blessing. The place has already been completely gutted, leaving it ready for us to renovate as we see fit. Will it be a lot of work? Absolutely, but this project has already been a lot of work from the beginning.
I feel that we are currently in a window of opportunity with COVID-19. Many people are getting extra help right now, but I feel that when the extra help runs out food insecurity will be on the rise. So, this is the perfect time to get something going.
Thank you to all who have helped in this process and I am looking forward to moving onto the building phase.
If you would like to help in any way please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org