Loaves & Fishes embarks on ‘Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation’ Campaign

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 6:02 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - For families dealing with food insecurity, school vacation only makes things more difficult, as that means more meals for parents to come up with at home.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth is helping to ease that burden by supplying 250 box meals to families with children during the upcoming school break, with its “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation” Campaign.

After a successful Thanksgiving campaign to help fight food insecurity, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth decided to forgo a Christmas campaign and try something different.

“What happens when you get to the middle of February,” asked Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Charlie Dayhoff. “Kids are about to go on school vacation. At that point, based on the current economy, people’s budgets are going to be in distress. So thats why we decided to defer until this time of year.”

The box meals aren’t just a replacement for a school lunch. They’re large dinners that can feed an entire family.

“That includes about eighty turkey meals, sixty pork roast meals, about fifty ham meals, and about fifty beef meals as well,” Dayhoff said. “We have stuffing, we have cranberry sauce, we have a frozen vegetable medley, we have some biscuits that folks can cook themselves, and five pounds of potatoes in each of the boxes except for the ham meals, which is going to include boxed potatoes or potatoes au gratin instead.”

Loaves & Fishes partnered with Families First Community Center, who work with those facing housing insecurity, who often face food insecurity as well.

“They’re able to go home and make a good meal,” said Familie sFirst Executive Director Shaina Fraser. “Not only a good meal, but a good big meal that’s kind of comfort food. And you know that those people, the older folks that come in, they’re feeding their families, and their grandkids are coming over. It’s just really cool.”

Loaves & Fishes says there’s a big need for programs like the “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation Campaign,” and expects the need to continue.

“The number of families we served has doubled, and right now we’re seeing five-to-six hundred families each month that we’re open,” Dayhoff said. “So I don’t know where the need is going to stop, but it just keeps continuing to rise at this point.”

For more information or to donate to the food pantry, you can visit loavesandfishesellsworth.org.