Over the past several weeks, Gardiner FCU has donated about $23,000.00 to food pantries and organizations who provide food to area families, with food insecurities.
Record numbers of people are unemployed. Schools and many daycares are closed. Children who may have received two meals a day, at school or daycare, are now at home. As a result, the need for assistance at area food pantries has never been greater. “I spoke to a source at one pantry, who is seeing twice as many families. Another has seen the number of people increase four times over.” States Kelly Marie, Marketing Coordinator for Gardiner FCU.
The Credit Union typically holds fundraisers, year-round, to benefit the Campaign for Ending Hunger. Realizing the urgent need, they released those funds early and also made separate contributions to the Gardiner Tiger Food Pantry and to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, where many of the pantries supported by GFCU, go to get items to fill their shelves. When Townsquare Media approached the Credit Union with their Virtual Food Drive, for Good Shepherd, GFCU jumped at the chance to lend support, making a donation to Good Shepherd and sponsoring the first hour of the drive, on air, on both the Moose & the Bee. Their virtual food drive, found on their website, has raised over $32,000, as this is written.
“We are not alone in our efforts to help our local families and food banks. We are proud to be doing our part. I saw a post about Faith Food Pantry losing a freezer full of food and having refrigerator issues too,” said Kelly. “No sooner had I seen the post, than I saw another from Faith saying thanks to the outpouring of support, they had replaced all they had lost and then some. People who can help are stepping up and helping so many.”
There are many ways to help, even when practicing social distancing. You can contact a food pantry, in your area, and ask them what their greatest need is. They may need diapers, toilet paper, or shampoo, as well as canned goods or gift cards they can use to purchase needed items, as they shop. If you are able to help, give them a call. Bread of Life 207-626-3434; Chrysalis Place 207-582-5507; Faith Food Pantry 207-203-0002 Food for Thought 207-737-9150; Hallowell Food Bank 207-992-6899; Janice’s Community Food Pantry 207-582-5283; South Gardiner 207-582-7807; Spectrum Generations Meals on Wheels 207-626-7777; Gardiner Tiger Food Pantry 207-582-3150; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kennebec Valley 207-582-8458; Chelsea Food Pantry 207-480-9239.
Once the lobby reopens at Gardiner FCU, they hope to resume fundraising for Ending Hunger. For now, they are accepting monetary donations are accepted through drive up, or by leaving donations with a note, in their drop box.