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Bar Harbor community helps food pantry, so food pantry can help community

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 3:53 PM EDT
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - The Bar Harbor Food Pantry finished off a month-long fundraiser this morning by drawing raffle winners for two donated bicycles.

You might think in the year 2021, just raffling off a couple of bikes wouldn’t raise much money.

The Bar Harbor food pantry managed to raise nearly $4,000 that way, thanks in part to the donation of a thousand-dollar standard bike from a private donor, and an electric bike from Pedego on West Street.

“Four thousand dollars is a lot of money for the food pantry,” said Pedego owner Sarah Dunbar. “A dollar goes a lot further at the pantry than at the grocery store, so it’s fantastic.

For Dunbar, the donation of an electric bike that retails for over $1,500 was a no brainer.

“I grew up in Bar Harbor, born and raised,” Dunbar said. “My husband is also from MDI. My daughter volunteered for the food pantry a little bit a couple of summers ago, and I know how important it is for so many people in the community.”

To help sell raffle tickets, Side Street Cafe put the bikes on display inside the restaurant for nearly a month, in full view of tourists and locals alike.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Bar Harbor Food Pantry Board Member Carol Shutt. " I mean, I felt so grateful that we had the two donations that gave us the bikes. So I think that’s just seeing your community working in a really wonderful way. It’s very appreciated.”

The Bar Harbor Food Pantry serves all of MDI and of Hancock County, where food insecurity is as much a reality as it is throughout the state. Fundraisers like this one, with heavy community involvement, are worth far more than just the money raised.

“It’s so significant because you’re bringing awareness, and then on top of that you’re getting a positive result,” said Chad Kessel, also a board member of the food pantry. “We’re available to individuals that need the help, and sometimes people don’t know. They’re new to town and they’re working, but they’re still working poor. And it’s ok to reach out and get a food box.”

For more information on the Bar Harbor Food Pantry, visit barharborfoodpantry.org

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