The Camden Area Christian Food Pantry (CACFP), at 128 Mt. Battie Street, serves several surrounding towns. Since the pandemic, CACFP has accepted families outside this nucleus welcoming any family in need that meets the income guidelines. At this time of year the pantry also helps support families through the CHRHS pantry program by donating Hannaford gift cards to add to their holiday gift boxes.
CACFP offers a variety of foods, as well as some personal care items.
The main sources of food are TEFAP, a federal government resource for free food, and Good Shepherd Food Bank, a state resource that offers some free food and other food at reduced prices. Those are supplemented by various generous food donations, in particular our local Hannaford stores and Erickson’s Farm.
In addition, donations from food drives and personal donors add a variety of foods. As always, monetary donations received from individuals throughout the year allow CACFP to purchase additional items for distribution.
CACFP is open twice a week, Tuesdays 8 to 11 a.m. and Thursdays, 4 to 6 p.m. Families can visit once a week.
CACFP has held special events the last few years, including the OTTO Challenge. An anonymous donor offered to match funds raised to purchase Hannaford gift cards thus allowing families to purchase items the pantry does not offer.
That was a generous addition that the families truly appreciated.
The other is an upcoming event sponsored by Maine Sport and supported by Camden Hannaford known as the Turkey Ride. Bicycle riders start at Maine Sport, proceed to Camden Hannaford (where they pick up their purchased turkey) and finish at the Camden food pantry where pantry volunteers will receive the turkeys to be distributed later that day. It is a wonderful spectacle to see riders, both young and old, all ride in at once bearing their turkeys. Individuals can sign up at Maine Sport to join the event.
This month, CACFP is also conducting its annual appeal. These donations form the base of their operating expenses. Although the majority of the donors are local, several people from other states donate as well.
CACFP appreciates all the various ways the pantry has been supported over the past 20-plus years since being founded by its five core churches: Chestnut Street Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, John St. Methodist Church, Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic church and St Thomas Episcopal Church, all in Camden.
To make a connection with the pantry either to volunteer, donate, or more importantly, receive services, contact CACFP at 128 Mt Battie Street in Camden by calling 207-236-9790 or mailing to P.O. Box 337,Camden, Me 04843. There is more information on the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry website, camdenpantry.com. You may also reach out by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org