The Waldoboro municipal building was the site of a drive-thru food pantry Tuesday, April 21, and Town Manager Julie Keizer says the events will continue throughout the state of emergency.
The Waldoboro Food Pantry, with the Waldoboro Fire Department and the staff of the town office, held the pantry in the parking lot of the municipal building. The goal was to feed Waldoboro families amid widespread unemployment due to the coronavirus.
About 70 families picked up food, but Keizer expects to see more in the weeks ahead.
“As we do this weekly, I hope it grows. I think more people will come once they realize this is available right off of Route 1,” she said.
Volunteers enjoyed the work.
“It was a happy event,” Keizer said. “The volunteers from the fire department had a wonderful time.”
“It was busy. I thought it went extremely well,” she said.
Lou Cook, food director at the Waldoboro Food Pantry, said participants were asked to drive up to a table and register, so volunteers could bring food to them in their vehicles.
Eli Johnson, a Waldoboro firefighter, assisted with the event.
Johnson said he volunteered for a distribution event at the pantry’s Jefferson Street location a couple of weeks ago. The municipal building gives volunteers and participants more space to work with.
“I think with the parking lot being bigger, it helped out. Everyone worked well together,” Johnson said.
Broad Bay Church donated gift cards to Hannaford Supermarket to buy food for the event. Dow Furniture donated the use of a box truck for the day. A Fill the Y Bus food drive at Main Street Grocery in Damariscotta supported the effort. Healthy Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Food Initiative contributed too.
In addition to firefighters, Waldoboro Recreation Director Marcus Benner and School Resource Officer William Labombarde assisted with the event.
Keizer said the economic turmoil is impacting families throughout the town, increasing demand at the food pantry.
“We have a need, an increased need at this point, and we are trying to help people out,” she said.
The town office plans to reduce the hours of the event from three hours, noon to 3 p.m., to two hours, noon to 2.
“We had some downtime today and I think we will be able to handle things in two hours,” Keizer said.