ELLSWORTH — Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, a 40-plus-year-old community organization that feeds and serves the hungry in Hancock County, is celebrating a $60,000 gift from Darling’s Auto Group. Darling’s Chevrolet, which is next door to the pantry’s future home, provided the funding through GM’s Chevrolet Division.
Loaves & Fishes currently operates in tight quarters on the Bucksport Road. The pantry recently acquired the building at 137 Downeast Highway in Ellsworth that will become its new home.
Darling’s donation is in support of Loaves & Fishes’ capital campaign – More Food, More Families, More Often – which aims to fund renovations to the new property, pay for the move and retire the purchase loan.
“Darling’s is welcoming us to the neighborhood and is forging a fabulous partnership moving forward,” said Loaves & Fishes Board President Andy Matthews. “We are thrilled to collaborate with them and so happy they are right next door!”
Loaves & Fishes’ future home will have a 3,200-square-foot market to accommodate at least 10 people at a time (versus the current three). Clients will be welcome to come shop as often as they need to instead of being limited to one visit a month. In addition to upgraded capabilities for storing and handling food and on-site commercial refrigeration, the new facility will also feature gardens for people who are interested in growing their own vegetables, space for private client consultations and a conference room to share with community partners who serve the food pantry’s client base.
The Darling’s name and logo will appear on the community garden, the kitchen and boardroom.
“Darling’s believes in supporting the community that supports us – it’s one of our five Vision Goals,” notes Darling’s Director of Ellsworth Operations Geoff Johnson. “We’re also really excited about the opportunities the new space will offer for collaboration among area nonprofits.”
For more information about Loaves & Fishes’ new home, go online to https://loavesandfishesellsworth.org/donate-building-campaign.