By Laura Gordon, Service-Learning Specialist
On Wednesday, July 5, I joined one of Good Shepherd Food Bank’s drivers, Bill Turner, on a distribution run to Downeast Maine. We left the Hannaford Center, the Food Bank’s Hampden-based distribution center, at 5:30 a.m. The drive started cool and foggy, and there was hardly any traffic on the roads following the Fourth of July holiday. Through picturesque landscapes, our tires carried us from one destination to another. Four partner agencies awaited our arrival, and with each stop, we witnessed the power of collaboration as dedicated individuals worked tirelessly.
Our journey through the heart of Downeast Maine led us to our first stop, Tree of Life Food Pantry, nestled in the charming town of Blue Hill. As we pulled in, Bill and I were greeted by a group of volunteers ready to unload food to stock their shelves. Tree of Life Food Pantry uses a client-choice model, encouraging their neighbors to go in and pick out their food. The pantry offers a variety of choices of shelf-stable and fresh foods. This partner also has an adjoining thrift store for community members to purchase affordable clothing, and all proceeds from the thrift store go back into the food pantry. Once the volunteers’ synchronized efforts cleared the pallets, Bill loaded the empty pallets back onto the box truck, and we set forth to our next destination.