By Haley Dolloff

The leaves are falling and the season for giving has come around once again in Midcoast Maine. Thanksgiving is a time for showing and giving thanks for all that you have and spreading that gratitude to those in your community who may need a little assistance. With the support of organizations, businesses, and individuals in the community, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP) works to ensure that our guests have the supplies they need to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with their friends and families. Our mission is to provide hungry people with access to healthy food, work to improve the quality of their lives by partnering with others, and serve them in a manner that recognizes their dignity. Each year, MCHPP distributes Thanksgiving bags through the Food Pantry program to guests who visit our location in Brunswick. In 2018, 642 households were served through the Thanksgiving program. This is made possible by the hard work, dedication, and generosity of volunteers and donors who give in many different ways to our cause.

Thanks to Six Rivers Farm, in Bowdoinham, we will distribute over 3,500 pounds of fresh, organic carrots this year. Kennebec Sheriffs and inmates, through the Kennebec Restorative Community Harvest Program, donated 4,000 pounds of potatoes, a staple that must go with every Thanksgiving meal. Anthem representatives generously donated all of the reusable bags needed to package the Thanksgiving items this season. The Highland Green, of Topsham, raises funds each year through the Neighbors in Need Drive. The money raised is often put towards the purchase of gift cards for the Thanksgiving bags. These cards provide a great alternative to turkeys, as they can be used towards a protein of preference for each family and mitigates the hassles of transportation and refrigeration. Along with these items, the Thanksgiving bag comes with stuffing, gravy, butternut squash, and canned vegetables. The bags are available for Food Pantry guests throughout the month of November.

Thanks to the individuals and groups committed to our mission, we are able to make Thanksgiving happen for hundreds of families throughout our community. As the weather gets colder hardships often increase for many in our community. Access to food is something we can work to provide for our neighbors in need. If you are in need of assistance, looking to find out more about our programs, or want to find out how to get involved, please visit or call us at 207-725-2716.

Haley Dolloff is a program coordinator at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

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