Shortly after, the Winslow Congregational Church in partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank, launched the Winslow Community Cupboard, specifically addressing food insecurity in Winslow. Along with food from the Food Bank, the cupboard receives food from Hannaford, local community donations and fresh produce from Mainers Feeding Mainers Farm Partner, Field of Greens in Albion.
When we visited, it was just like every distribution day for the cupboard, cars wrapped around the church and down the road, waiting to drive-thru and choose their food. There were students from Temple Academy volunteering while we were there. Denise Lafountain, head of school, brings students every two weeks to lend a helping hand. Along with the students, regular volunteers, including two retired Sappi workers, lend a hand throughout the week leading up to the distribution and during the day. One consistent volunteer, Earl, said, “I’ve been volunteering since the beginning and I’m up to 35-40 hours a week.”
With the menu of food items, volunteers are busy packing shelf-stable food and grabbing orders from the cooler and freezer. With the food storage buildings being a level up, they added a conveyer belt to roll the food down to a volunteer to grab and then load into cars. Over the past three years, they’ve been trying to make the system more efficient and fast for volunteers and easier on labor for them.