Westside Food Pantry marks 25th season

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — For 25 years, the Westside Food Pantry has been helping to feed the hungry in Southwest Harbor, Tremont and Mount Desert, and there are no signs of the volunteer organization slowing down.

In November, the pantry distributed $15,000 in food vouchers to almost 300 people in the coverage area, according to the pantry’s Susan Buell.

The food pantry operates from November to April, the months when fuel costs soar and food budgets shrink.

Located on the second floor of Harbor House, the pantry distributes the vouchers on the first and third Sundays of the month. Hours of operation are noon to 2 p.m. on the first Sunday and from noon to 1 p.m. on the second.

There is no requirement to receive vouchers other than providing proof of residence.

“We trust people that they are in need,” Buell said.

Family size determines the amount of each voucher. Vouchers can be used only at Southwest Food Mart, Gott’s Store and Sawyer’s Market, all of which are in Southwest Harbor.

The Westside Food Pantry operates on a tight budget. All funds are donated by members of the community and mainly come as a result of an appeals letter mailed every fall.

“We spend almost no money,” Buell said. “It’s humbling that the community supports us.”

During the period that began in November 2014 and ended in April, vouchers totaling $108,000 were distributed, Buell said.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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