We at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program often say that we are incredibly fortunate to live and work in such a supportive, giving community. Year after year, the people of Midcoast Maine provide MCHPP with the support needed to keep our doors open. Over 60% of our annual budget is made up of individual gifts from donors like you. Thousands of pounds of food are dropped off by our neighbors, from their houses and their businesses. Countless hours are spent volunteering in our programs, making sure that the doors stay open to serve those in need. 

This is the support we receive in good times. What is even more extraordinary, is the support we receive when times are tough. In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, MCHPP has significantly altered how we deliver services to the public, in order to ensure that our clients, volunteers, and staff remain safe. This process has been challenging and chaotic at times, but the incredible support we have received from our local community has kept us inspired, sane, and hopeful.

Maine School Administrative District 75, Brunswick School District and Bath Iron Works have donated their leftover bagged lunches. Bowdoin College brought us cases of toilet paper when campus closed. As restaurants shuttered for the foreseeable future, they donated whatever product they had to MCHPP. This included Buck’s Nake BBQ, The Great Impasta, Sea Dog Brewery, Big E’s and Frontier, to name a few. Ben from Dog Bar Jim has been volunteering doing food preparation for the Soup Kitchen. Tony and the crew from Big Top Deli have provided sandwiches for the Soup Kitchen to serve for lunch. Chewonki is consistently keeping us stocked with milk and eggs, for which we are eternally grateful. When we had to switch quickly to outdoor service in inclement weather, New England Tent and Awning set up a tent in our parking lot within 24 hours, and donated its use for the next six weeks.

Individuals from the community have generously donated their dollars, ensuring that we can purchase what food we need to feed others. In addition, a number of donors have paid for lunches and coffees for our staff, keeping us going during long and busy days.

The thoughtfulness and outpouring of support from all aspects of the community has been truly amazing. On behalf of MCHPP and those we serve, thank you. We are deeply grateful for your partnership. If any readers out there are fortunate enough to be able to do so, please go buy some sandwiches, coffees, or muffins from these good folks. If you can’t support them financially at this time, please write them a good review online, or wave and say thanks (from a safe distance) if you see them around town. We are all in this for the long haul, but even in isolation we will get through this, together.

To learn more about MCHPP, make a donation, or access food, please visit mchpp.org.

Hannah Chatalbash is the deputy director of Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. Giving Voice is a weekly collaboration among four local non-profit service agencies to share information and stories about their work in the community. 

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