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Happy Anniversary Food Center




Today we celebrate the first anniversary of the Dover Foxcroft Area Food Center marketplace. One year ago today we opened our doors to our community with a goal of restoring dignity, care, and compassion back into the emergency food system. 

 

Like many new endeavors, there were missteps, challenges and moments of doubt – but we held fast to our dream of becoming a model food hub within the State of Maine, with many happy, engaged volunteers and staff serving people in our community with dignity, compassion, and humanity.

 

The result? Due to factors we could never have foreseen, such as a 25% increase in the price of groceries coupled with cuts to SNAP benefits, the Food Center grew from 200 registered households to 570. When the marketplace is open we hear the sounds of laughter, children playing, and the sound of shopping carts moving between the marketplace and the parking lot. Inside the marketplace we see volunteers bagging groceries, sharing recipes with shoppers for the best way to prepare spaghetti squash and we see smiles.

 

While scheduling appointments was new for all of us, those monthly calls with our shoppers grew into more than a transactional appointment setting. We reconnected with our shoppers.  We learned about their families, their illnesses, their struggles, their losses, and their victories.

 

Throughout the year our shoppers completed surveys. We didn’t expect the words of gratitude, and thoughtful expressions of how much the Food Center and our volunteers helped shopper families.

 

The survey also brought to life the importance of our work as one in four shoppers tell us that the Food Center is their sole or primary source of food each month. That means that for approximately 228 households, the Food Center supplies most or all of their food.

 

We accomplished a great deal in our first year. And none of it happened on its own. We have so many people to thank.

 

We are indebted to our tireless and dedicated volunteers who make appointment calls, stock shelves, sort produce, unpack donations and food pallets, pack groceries, and greet shoppers. Thank you!

 

We are so grateful to our funders, the local businesses, individuals, and large foundations who support our work and make it possible to continue our mission each day.

 

Meeting the needs of our community would be impossible without our hard-working team – each one fueled by the opportunity to make a difference in their community.

 

Our organization would not be able to succeed without the Piscataquis Regional Food Center board of directors, ten amazing people who volunteer their time to lead and guide us in line with our mission and goals.

 

Thank you, no matter how you are involved with our organization together we have made a difference for many in our community and we look forward to seeing what we can do in 2024!

 

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