The Twin Villages Foodbank Farm in Damariscotta is adapting to an increased demand of food needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cover the cost of necessary changes, the farm has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise $22,500 by the end of May. First National Bank of Damariscotta has led the campaign with a generous gift of $7,500.
The farm is now appealing to the community for help to raise the remaining $15,000. All money raised will support the farm’s efforts to grow high-quality, nutritious food to donate to seven Lincoln County food pantries and several youth programs.
Donations of freshly grown food by Twin Villages Foodbank Farm in Damariscotta reach an average of 2,000 individuals across Lincoln County annually. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is expected to rise sharply. Some food pantries have already reported an increase of 25-50% in the number of families who rely on their support. At the state level, projections estimate a 40% increase in families needing assistance from the hunger relief network.
Twin Villages Foodbank Farm is committed to ensuring that a steady and reliable stream of fresh, high quality, and nutrient dense produce is grown and delivered to food pantries this season. However, the farm has asked volunteers to remain at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. In a normal year, the farm benefits from about 1,500 hours of volunteer efforts.
In order to fill this labor gap, the farm is shifting to mechanize some parts of its operation and streamline its productivity. The farm will also need to purchase post-harvest handling and packaging supplies and equipment to ensure compliance with increased food safety measures. The new crowdfunding campaign has been created to cover the cost of new equipment.
Secure online donations can be made at twinvillagesfarm.org. More information is available at twinvillagesfarm.org. Questions may be sent to Farm Director Sara Cawthon at email@example.com.