When arriving at Footprints Food Pantry in Kittery, Maine, you are greeted with an array of fresh produce displayed at the front entrance. Like a farmers’ market, Footprints Food Pantry displays its fresh produce outside for neighbors to select what they’d like to take home. As one of our southern Maine partners, Footprints works to reduce the impact of hunger in the communities of Kittery, Kittery Point, and Eliot and to share resources and support the lives of those who have joined the Footprints’ community.
We were lucky to be able to visit the pantry on a market day, and third-year volunteer Tracy welcomed us. When we asked her why she volunteers at Footprints, she responded quickly, “The neighbors and other volunteers here are wonderful. Volunteering is a great social activity for me, and I love the exercise. It’s satisfying work.” Footprints currently has 72 active volunteers and over 26 on their waiting list. With various jobs, from greeting neighbors, packing boxes, stocking shelves, making meal kits, and delivery driving, all volunteers seem to bustle around the pantry with a smile and a willingness to help wherever they are needed.
Footprints Food Pantry was established in 1992 and has resided in the same small space, with little visibility, to individuals living in the surrounding towns, but are outgrowing the location. Although the area has served them well for the past 30 years, they started to dream big and search for a new space for their food distribution and a place to collaborate with local organizations aligning with their mission.