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What's Happenin' at PR Food Center

Photo of the side of the warehouse, green corregated metal walls. Sunset seen on the windows above heat pumps. Piscataquis Regional Food Center banner hung in center.
February 2021: Sunset seen on the PR Food Center windows.

It's been a wonderfully busy start to February here at PR Food Center.

Some unexpected delight came our way through news that the USDA, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Native Maine produce coordinated the distribution of Farm to Family food boxes. You may have seen the flyer for our event and others around the state. On February 17th, from 1-3pm at the Piscataquis County Ice Arena, PR Food Center staff and dedicated volunteers will be handing out these food boxes. This is a drive through distribution with no proof of income required. The boxes will contain a variety of meats/proteins, dairy, produce and 1gal of milk. This Flyer is available on our food cupboard info page.

In other news, we've been decorating and rearranging the office! Winter is the perfect time to re-imagine space and to consider efficient and easy storage. We promise to share photos of the space as it progresses. The warehouse is also getting some structural and cosmetic love. We're thinking about things like; where is the best place to store books for homebound seniors? What would be an accessible way to present visitor resources on gardening, canning, food safety and cooking? Where do we put the fantastic lime green PRFC jerseys? And what about that inflatable monkey a dear Americorps VISTA left long ago? We're also ensuring we make space that takes into account the seriousness of Covid-19 precautions, and social distancing measures.

Our deliveries to homebound seniors of Commodities Supplemental Food Boxes continue, as do redistributing large amounts of food to regional Good Shepherd Foo Bank agencies. Last week, Rod delivered the first run to the Nokomis Regional High School in Corinna for the school pantry. Though cold, the Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard diligently and compassionately distributes food every 2nd and 4th Friday of the Month. (Click here for additional regional cupboard hours).

Last week Erin was on a podcast! She connected with Abby Freethy of Northwoods Gourmet Girl ( Abby is a chef making a variety of pantry staples in Greenville. Her podcast is called "Maine Food Fabric" and centers on themes of "rural food producers, makers, chefs, eating spots, farmers." The interview with Erin hasn't aired yet, but you can listen to Abby's other interviews through her Facebook page.

Though winter is still quite apparent, our planning for warm weather programming starts now.

Garden in a Box 2021 is such an example. This program offers folks with limited mobility, space or equipment the chance to grow seedings of their choice in a 15 gallon cloth container with the hands-on help of Garden Coaches (Master Gardener Volunteers) and a binder chock full of UMaine Cooperative Extension of Piscataquis County material. We piloted this program last year however due to the pandemic, we shelved our intentions. This year we anticipate the project to be much more aligned to the original vision.

We're happy to report that in partnership with the UMaine Cooperative Extension of Piscataquis County we've signed on four wonderful new Garden Coaches. All have a love of gardening and will be supporting our Gardeners with phone calls and garden check-ups throughout the growing season. Recently, Trisha Smith and Merrilee spent significant time creating a Garden in a Box "set" at the office in anticipation of producing an introductory video to the program. We'll be putting it on our youtube, and will certainly let you know when it's available.

The stage is set! Garden in Box 2021 video in 3, 2, 1...

This year, we're partnering with regional library's to give them their very own Garden in a Box Library Garden to go along with Garden in a Box learning materials that patrons can "check out" in the month of April. We're still hard at work designing the materials, and gathering details. Stay tuned!

Garden in a Box 2021 Binder: Victory for ME DVD sets, Smart Gardener and Container Design tools included

As always, PR Food Center is here to help folks access food resources and help connect donors. Give us a call (207) 802-8230, email us at or visit our website to learn more about what we do.

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