I volunteer at Scarborough Food Pantry and appreciate your Dec. 10 editorial encouraging cash gifts to food banks. In making reference to food pantries, however, your headline (“Our View: For food pantries, the best gift is cash”) was misleading. Food banks and food pantries help fight hunger in two complementary but different ways.

Good Shepherd Food Bank obtains food, principally in bulk, from stores, distributors and growers. If it buys food, it buys wholesale. Good Shepherd has its own warehouses and trucking. It distributes food not to individuals and families but to food pantries, churches and other organizations throughout the state. Consequently, Good Shepherd has most of the same costs that businesses do.

Scarborough Food Pantry has no overhead. It is hosted by First Congregational Church of Scarborough and staffed by volunteer community members. Support comes in cash and in kind from donations by individuals and by organizations like Wayside, Kiwanis, Scouting, Project GRACE and Hannaford. Other than the food itself and a few supplies purchased locally at retail, we have no cash expenses. We distribute food directly to the families and individuals who come to our pantry from throughout the region.

Scarborough Food Pantry appreciates equally donations of cash and of nonperishable food items. When donating food, however, please remember we cannot distribute items more than six months past their “best by” date or items whose packaging is not intact.

Leonard Giambalvo

Scarborough


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