The Towns of Naples and Casco received $8,000 in CDBG funding (2011) to support the nascent "Cupboard Collective" food pantry delivery program. The program, part of Opportunity Alliance's Communities Promoting Health Coalition, coordinates food delivery from urban distribution centers to multiple food pantries in the Lakes Region.
During the 2011 program year the Collective contracted with the Wayside Food Programs to make two deliveries a month to The Food Basket at Crosswalk Community Outreach in Naples and the Casco Alliance Church Food Pantry in Casco and one delivery a month to the Casco Village Church Food Pantry in Casco.
The CDBG funding helped pay for the transport of food, i.e. the cost of moving the truck, - the only expense of the program; all other aspects of the program are contributed via volunteer services and donations. Participating towns are asked to contribute a small partnership fee which, soon, will make the program self-sustaining. Naples and Casco each contributed $1,000 to the program during the first year. The Town of Bridgton, which joined the program in February 2012, also contributed $1,000 for its first term (through July 1, 2012).
Bria White, Program Coordinator for The Cupboard Collective, reported that through June 2012 the following outcomes were achieved:
In 9 months, approximately 151,000 lbs. of food has been delivered to the communities of Casco, Naples, and Bridgton.
Over 27% of the food delivered would not have reached the communities if Cupboard Collective trucks were not available to transport it.
The amount of fresh and healthy foods moving to these communities increased by 9%.
Volunteers, who in the past used their own vehicles and paid for the gas themselves, saved $3,832 in gas costs.
Now that refrigerated trucks are available to deliver food, pantries report ordering more food demonstrating that transporting food was an impediment to pantries having adequate food supplies.
Pantries representing 26 Maine towns have expressed interest in joining the Cupboard Collective and are willing to approach their respective town governments to fund the partnership fee.
The Collective is working with Good Shepherd Food Bank to contract their trucking fleet; with the recent addition of Bridgton to the program, the Collective is at capacity with their current trucks. The
Good Shepherd fleet will allow the Collective to make deliveries to almost every community in the State.
For more information on the program visit Opportunity Alliance's Communities Promoting Health website.
Click here to download the brochure: Food for You: Resource Guide to food in the Sebago Lakes Region.
Click here to read about the program in the Lakes Region Weekly (Naples & Casco).
Click here to read about the program in The Bridgton News.