Cape Elizabeth Police Department held a food drive on Dec. 12 in the IGA parking lot. The food drive collected over $1,600 as well as one pickup truck and two cruisers’ worth of food, which were dropped off at Judy’s Pantry at 280 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, the department announced. Courtesy photo Cape Elizabeth Police Department

CAPE ELIZABETH — A food drive sponsored by the Cape Elizabeth Police Department Benevolent Association on Dec. 12 collected over $1,600 and enough food to fill three vehicles, the department announced.

Donations went to Judy’s Pantry, located in the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church on 280 Ocean House Road, the department announced.

Community Liaison Officer Mark Dorval reached out to Beth Owens of Judy’s Pantry about doing the drive in order to benefit the pantry, Owens said.

“When Mark made the offer, we were thrilled, but we had no idea that it would be so generous with donations of food and money,” she said. “The donations were wonderful because it was lots of different foods that added to the basics. Mark Dorval and his volunteer officers were a lot of fun to work with — They were also pleased to see the outpouring support of our community.”

The Cape Elizabeth Police Department delivered donated food and money, received through a drive hosted by the department’s Benevolent Association, to Judy’s Pantry on Dec. 12. Courtesy photo Cape Elizabeth Police Department

Judy’s Pantry has seen an “uptick” in the need for food since the pandemic started, she said.

“Food insecurity is an unfortunate casualty of this pandemic,” Owens said. However, there has been a great showing of support and generosity in the community.

“These past months several scout groups have called, and they are planning to have neighborhood food drives,” Owens said. “We have two Cape residents who have challenged themselves to make delicious breads or rolls for everyone. People are also eager to help, but to keep everyone safe, we are using a smaller volunteer group.”

She added, “I can’t say enough about the support that we have received from our residents. This is a community that takes care of one another.”

Judy’s Pantry normally gets non-perishable items from The Wayside Food Distribution Center on a monthly basis, as well as produce from local farms and gardens, purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter to supplement offerings, Owens said.

The pandemic has affected every food pantry, she said. Judy’s Pantry, being no exception, has adapted.

“Early on, we decided to have a remote distribution of food where clients could drive to the Cape Elizabeth Methodist Church, trunks open, and volunteers would then deliver the bags to their cars,” Owens said. “All of us wear masks and practice safe food handling as directed by the Maine CDC guidelines. The downside is that we miss communicating in person with our clients.”

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