A conversation once occurred between a Head Start parent and Charlotte Bourgault, a social worker at the Head Start program, about why people receiving food stamps could not use them to purchase toiletries. Then Charlotte and I engaged in a conversation about how we could problem-solve the situation. The next conversation we had was how do we fix this?

We heard about a non-food pantry in Portland, supplying locals with items that weren’t under the food stamp umbrella, so we went for a visit. From this, our vision was born, and about a year later we were able to secure the space and supplies needed to get the In-A-Pinch Non-Food Pantry up and running. This was August of 1996. Now, 18 years later, the doors to In-A-Pinch Pantry remain open, and that wouldn’t be possible without the support and kindness of or communities.

The board of directors of In-A-Pinch would like to express a sincere “thank you” for all of the continued support we have received. In the past 18 years, the In-A-Pinch Non-Food Pantry has received support from: Amvets Post 1, Amvets Ladies Auxiliary, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, Biddeford Savings Bank, Bon Appetit Food Pantry, Brady’s Screen Printing, Brown Fox Printing, City of Biddeford, Christ Episcopal Church, 2nd Congregational Church, The Saco, Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach Courier, Fraternal Order of Eagles in Biddeford, Fraternal Order of Eagles in Saco, Hannaford in Biddeford, a fundraiser hosted by Jose Duddy, individual and private donations, the Journal Tribune, Ladies Eagles Auxiliary, La Kermesse Committee, local Boy and Girl Scout troops, local churches, Narragansett Foundation Grant, Northeast Delta Dental Insurance, In-A-Pinch pantry and home volunteers, Ocean Community Credit Union, Rays Truck Service, St. Andre’s Health Care, St David’s Episcopal Church, Seeds of Hope, Southern Maine Vets, Stone Soup Pantry, Sun Chronicle, TOPS 253, Union Church and University of New England students.

With the above support, In-A-Pinch has been able to provide items to more than 2,400 families in the 2013 year with the board of directors, and pantry volunteers logged in more than 1,700 hours.

Thank you for your generosity and continued support to help the people in need of a help when they are “in a pinch.”

Marie Clark-Colman, chairwoman and co-founder, In A Pinch Non-Food Pantry, Biddeford