Hunger relief campaign raises over $100k for Waldo County
WALDO COUNTY, Maine (WABI) - Waldo County Bounty is a hunger-relief campaign that launched in May, addressing food insecurity in that area.
It’s is a completely volunteer-driven campaign formed during the early days of the pandemic, and has raised over $100,000 in an area where nearly a quarter of the people who live there deal with hunger issues.
“Despite there being economic struggle for many within our community, there is- like is typical of Maine throughout- this interest in helping out your neighbor, and giving what you can give,” said Colleen Hanlon-Smith, who owns Daybreak Grower’s Alliance and is a memeber of WCB’s leadership team. “We’ve really seen that through Waldo County Bounty.”
The campaign has also supported local farmers by purchasing tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of food to distribute to hunger-relief organizations. In all, Waldo County Bounty has helped to distribute nearly 400,000 pounds of food to Waldo County residents.
Volunteers work with local organizations like Daybreak Grower’s Alliance, and Veggies For All Gleaning program.
“A lot of that work had already been happening in silos, and what Waldo County Bounty has done is really bring that together under an initiative that seeks to have an even broader impact and lasting change well into the future,”Hanlon-Smith said.
“As a community, self organizing to make sure the food gets from where it’s being grown to where it’s being used, having that organizational infrastructure is really helpful to us and to a lot of people this year,” added Songbird Farm Co-owner Adam Nordell.
With that infrastructure now in place, Waldo County Bounty has an eye toward the future, even after the pandemic is over.
“We’re trying to holistically increase food security overall,” Hanlon-Smith said. “The fallout of everything that’s happened is not going to go away anytime soon. So we’re here for the long haul, and build this into something that’s a permanent part of our community.”
For more information on Waldo County Bounty, go to www.waldocountybounty.org.
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