Nonprofit Gets Creative to Deliver Food to Maine Islands
May 29, 2020
BAR HARBOR, Maine – Demand for emergency food from food pantries is up around 50% in Maine since the COVID-19 outbreak. And when you live on an island, it can be that much harder to get.
The Maine Seacoast Mission has gotten creative to deliver groceries to people on the islands who need them.
They had to stop using their boat for deliveries when the shutdown began in March. Instead, they quickly coordinated with Penobscot Air to fly the food in.
Sharon Daley is the director of Island Health for the Mission, and also an island resident. She describes what many islanders have been facing.
“They’ve got a double issue with food,” says Daley. “First of all, people not working – lobstering being bad, sternmen not being able to earn any income right off. Then, there’s also the issues of getting the food out to the islands.”
The Maine Seacoast Mission also has helped set up food pantries on Matinicus and Frenchboro islands with the support of the Area Interfaith Outreach or ‘AIO’ Food Pantry and the Bar Harbor Food Bank.
BAR HARBOR, ME — Whether she is serving as Sunbeam (and Moonbeam) Steward, or helping direct several activities at the Weald Bethel Community Center, and the Food Pantry, Jillian is known all over for her warmth, her patience, kindness, artistic abilities, and as a chef extraordinaire. Viewers can get hints of all that in this terrific photo.
Starlet Moffitt, Joe O’Campo, Levi Shaw, Stephanie Moores and Wren Wakeman. They were packaging foods to get ready for distribution. They all work for the Mission.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Megan Smith, Maine Seacoast Mission Community Resource Coordinator, gives yesterday’s “culturally relevant food” distribution at the Mission Food Pantry a big “Wow!” In a follow-up email, Megan said:
“What a wonderful amazing day. The partnership and camaraderie I saw today was beyond compare. We were able to serve the “culturally relevant food” to 105 families! Adding the number of families served yesterday for our regular day brings the total families served to 163. We are all exhausted but happy that we were able to fulfill so many requests.
“I want to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers from Mano en Mano and Seacoast Mission who made this possible. Without you we wouldn’t have been able to turn this around so quickly,” Megan said.
Learn more about the Mission Food Pantry.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Ruth Feldman created the Little Free Library at Vasquez Restaurant in Milbridge.
Ms. Feldman writes, “Please spread the word that a whole new shipment of books have just been donated to the Milbridge Free Library located at Vazquez in Milbridge!
“Author/Illustrator Annette LeBlanc Cate donated one of her signed books MAGIC RABBIT to ‘the children of Maine’, and then a whole box of books and magazines (MUSE) ranging from picture books to chapter books.
“Summer reading for sure!”
BAR HARBOR, ME — It’s Thank you Thursday and today’s shout out of Mission Love goes to the editorial team of The Island Reader. The Island Reader is a multi-arts anthology that showcases Maine’s unbridged island writers and artists. It’s published annually by the Mission through the Sunbeam V’s Island Outreach program. The editorial team is comprised of a dedicated group of island volunteers who work diligently each year to solicit and review submissions and then lovingly craft them into a beautiful anthology that reflects island life and culture.
This year’s editorial team consists of Gary Rainford (editor-in-chief) from Swan’s Island, Douglas Cornman from Mount Desert Island (also the Sunbeam’s Island Outreach Director & Chaplain), Kendra Chubback from Isle au Haut, Ingrid Gaither from Great Cranberry Island, Toby Martin from Islesboro, Kim Peabody from Matinicus, and Sally Rowan from Islesford.
This is The Island Reader’s fourteenth edition. The theme for this year is “Whatever Floats Your Boat.” The editorial team encouraged islanders to capture the wit and whimsy that is so important to embrace when facing the harsh realities of living on one of Maine’s outer islands.
The brainstorm of Reverend Rob Benson, former Pastor to the Outer Islands, The Island Reader has been lovingly guided by many previous editors; most of whom continue to submit their creative writing and artwork for publication. The Mission would also like to give a shout out to them because The Island Reader would not be what it is today, without their creative talent and guidance.
So, thanks to… Anne Bardaglio, Matinicus
Kate Chaplin, Islesford
Donna Cundy, Monhegan
Kaitlyn Duggan, Islesford
Alex Harris, Isle au Haut
Livka Farrell, Monhegan
Kathie Fiveash, Isle au Haut
Rebecca Lenfestey, Frenchboro
Ana Marie Maguire, Swans Island
Erica Millette, Monhegan
Eva Murray, Matinicus
Susanna Roe, Swans Island
Scott Sell, Frenchboro
Kate Shaffer, Isle au Haut
Molly Siegel, Isle au Haut
Skip Stevens, Islesford
The 2020 Whatever Floats Your Boat edition of The Island Reader is available now through Maine Seacoast Mission. Click here.