Police departments in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough have joined forces to host a tri-community food drive Saturday morning.

The drive comes at a time of growing need as inflation and fuel prices are driving more people to rely on food pantries, according to Dwayne Hopkins, executive director of the South Portland Food Cupboard.

“People have to choose between heat and eat,” Hopkins said. “We’re seeing a higher demand, particularly among people on fixed incomes.”

The Food Cupboard fed over 12,000 people in the last fiscal year, he said.

“This year, we’re on track to feed over 20,000 people,” he said.

Scarborough resident Eddie Woodin and Scarborough nonprofit Project GRACE organized the drive.


Woodin visited the Scarborough Food Pantry last summer, he said, and “it was obvious to me, in the times we’re in, people are suffering.”

The tri-community drive, Woodin said, makes it easy for people to donate.

“This is a nice, convenient, quick way (to give), and they can feel good about it,” he said. “They are helping people in need.”

The three police departments will be the drop-off points for nonperishable food and monetary donations Saturday morning. All donations will be divided evenly among the South Portland Food Cupboard, Scarborough Food Pantry and Judy’s Pantry in Cape Elizabeth.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together to help out one another and to ease the burden some may feel in providing food for themselves and their families,” Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist said in an email to The Forecaster.

The drive is “critical,” Hopkins said, as pantries are feeling inflation as well, largely due to the cost of fuel in order to heat their facilities and vehicles.


“We talk about how inflation and fuel costs and so-on affect families,” he said. “It affects us as food pantries as well because those increased costs take money that we ordinarily would be able to put into food.”

Any money donated as part of the drive, which has a goal of $15,000, will be used exclusively for food, Hopkins said.

The South Portland Police Department at 30 Anthoine St., the Scarborough Public Safety building at 275 Route 1, and Cape Elizabeth Police Department at 325 Ocean House Road will accept donations from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.

To learn more about the food drive, including how to donate financially either in person or online, visit fooddrivemaine.weebly.com.

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