The pantry stocks a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and shelf-stable products received from partner organizations like Good Shepherd Food Bank. However, there are items often not donated, or the Mission cannot source or purchase from its partners. Many of these items are requested by community members and are often common items found in most homes. However, they become highly sought-after items in the pantry.
To help fill this gap, Megan along with Downeast Director Jenny Jones came up with a “Donation of the Month” initiative to receive some of these items. In 2024, each month will feature a new item to donate to the pantry. These items include:
- January: Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa
- February: Canned soup
- March: Pasta and sauce
- April: Snacks
- May: Cereal
- June: Condiments
- July: Microwaveable meals
- August: Personal hygiene products
- September: Peanut butter and jelly
- October: Canned meats (tuna, chicken, SPAM, etc.)
- November: Thanksgiving sides
- December: Household items
Jenny explains, “When people ask me what to donate to the food pantry, I often tell them to donate something they like or often pick up because someone else probably wants or needs the same thing.” At a grocery store, the requested items tend to be more expensive and customers pass them over for cheaper items or ones that are seen as “more essential.”
The Mission is also working on different ways community members can make donations to the pantry. Earlier this year, boxes were set up at local stores, including Bayside Market in Cherryfield. With these new boxes shoppers can easily donate right in the store. This Donation of the Month initiative is another way for community members to think differently about what could benefit the pantry.
Learn more about the Mission’s Food Security program which includes the food pantry.