Loaves & Fishes initiates campaign to feed kids over February vacation

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:28 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - For many people, the holiday season is a joyful time with holiday parties and family time that includes good food and gifts.

But for many others, food insecurity can hit especially hard, not just around the holidays, but well after.

After a successful campaign to help feed families over the Thanksgiving holiday, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth has decided to turn its attention to the need that still exists once the holidays are over.

“Hunger doesn’t really doesn’t take a holiday,” said Charlie Dayhoff, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry executive director. “And we’ve teamed up with Families First Community Center and we’re going to provide a holiday style meal during school vacations. Now this is a time when the winter is going to be its bleakest, family budgets are bleak as well, and kids are away from school and can’t depend on school lunch programs for food.”

Right now, the “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday” campaign has enough funding to deliver 125 meals over the February school break, and hopes to double that by the time the winter break starts. .

They say food insecurity is growing in Hancock county, and throughout the state.

“Frankly, the need is so much greater now,” Dayhoff said. “When we were in the old space in 2021, we were seeing about nineteen shoppers a day that we were open. The next year, still in that building, that doubled up to about 38 a day. Here we have doubled that once again. So right now on the days that we’re open, we’re seeing eighty shoppers a day on the average. Yesterday we saw 114.”

That number is a single day record for Loaves & Fishes, but the organization says that’s exactly what it’s here for, during the holidays, and beyond.

“If you’re dealing with food insecurity right now, and you’re in our area, please come see us,” said Dayhoff. “You know there is no qualification. Your only qualification is you need food and we’ll help you out as best we can. If you’re not somebody facing food insecurity, please also support your local food pantry.”

For more information or to donate to the “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation Campaign,” visit loavesandfisdhesellsworth.org