Food pantry thanks volunteers

By Fran Gonzalez | Sep 13, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez From left, volunteers Kenna Dufresne, Janice Loring, Mike Rush, Dorothy Rush and Ted Bormet enjoy a barbecue dinner Sept. 7 provided by No Greater Food Pantry in Belfast.

Belfast — Food pantry volunteers were recognized and treated to a barbecue dinner Saturday afternoon at No Greater Love Food Pantry's new home on the lower level of the Belfast VFW Hall at 34 Field St.

The pantry began serving clients at the Belfast location Jan. 6.

Director Tanya McGray said the organization is able to feed triple the number of people at the new location, compared to when it operated in space provided by Abundant Grace Ministries Church in Searsmont.

"We serve about 100 families on average weekly," she said. Since Aug. 4, the pantry has expanded its hours, which now are from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sundays. About 1,000 people a month rely on the pantry, she said.

"Today, we have people coming in waves."

Recently, McGray said, the van the group uses to pick up food from several different towns three days a week was in the shop for a new radiator and water pump, which set them back $900.

Besides the unforeseen repairs, the pantry also makes a monthly $150 donation to the VFW for use of the Belfast space.

"The recommended donation is a very good price," McGray said. "And Jim Roberts (the operations manager at the VFW) has treated us so well."

The pantry's Janice Loring said with additional expenses lately, the center is very low on funds.

A Gofundme site has been established at gofundme.com/f/help-us-continue-helping-our-community to help defray operating costs.

The Gofundme site, Loring said, gets a percentage of the amount raised, plus a transaction fee.

McGray said donations also can be sent directly to the pantry at No Greater Love Food Pantry, P.O. Box 573, Belfast, ME 04915, which bypasses Gofundme fees.

In addition to herself and Loring, McGray said six other core volunteers operate the pantry: Seth Curry, Kenna Dufresne, Rapunzel and Neil Bergeron, Mary Guindon and Violet Linscott.

McGray said she is thankful for all the volunteers and also acknowledges help from the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center.

"Without the Reentry Center guys," she said, "I don't know how we'd manage."

Volunteers Mackenzie Bormet, left, and Abbie Dodge at the volunteer appreciation barbecue at No Greater Love Food Pantry Sept. 7. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Volunteer Violet Linscott, left, and Tanya McGray at the volunteer appreciation barbecue at No Greater Love Food Pantry Sept. 7. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
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