Last Thursday's Food Distribution at Sanford High School was a roaring success.
The day was a fast-paced, 12-hour day of fun for many volunteers.
Advisory board member Jennifer Davie is part of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. There is a very active chapter in the North East and a great group in Sanford. Through their Humanitarian Services program, Davies was in talks with some of the folks at their headquarters in Utah.
The church has many farms and a cannery where they can preserve the food they grow and then give it out to folks in need. She is the contact for the food the Sanford Backpack Program gets from Utah. They filled a truck with pallets of canned stew, soup, peaches, beans, pasta sauce, peanut butter, and much more and left Utah on February 13th to come to Sanford.
The total weight of those items from them was 40,000 pounds.
Good Shepherd Food Bank also ordered 15,000 pounds of fresh produce, 1,200 pounds of frozen ground beef, boxes of mac and cheese, and frozen pasta meals.
The total weight of the good shepherd order was 19,648 pounds. Good Shepherd also gave us 700 gallons of milk, which at 8.6 pounds a piece weighs in at 6,074 pounds.
All in all, the total pounds of food we unloaded, unpacked, organized, repacked, and loaded into numerous cars for over 1,000 area families was around 63,000 pounds!! Leading up to this day, we also received 10,000 units of toothpaste from Tom's of Maine and 1,000 boxes donated from Volk packing in Sanford, and Packing tape to tape up the boxes from Warren's Office Supplies.
They had the best help planning this event with Fire Captain Harold Smith and his public information officer, SRTC/Sanford High School senior- Savannah Raymond.
The SRTC classes of Fire Sciences/EMS, Law Enforcement, and Career Exploratory were all very active and hands-on throughout the day, and Alternative Education classes. Many volunteers came and went throughout the 12-hour day until the last box was loaded for delivery the next day.
Any food that was "left over" was shared with area food assistance organizations as well some to be stored in our school food pantries and used in packing our weekly backpack food bags for Sanford students.
The Sanford Backpack Program is a non-profit organization that has been running for over ten years. They focus on providing nutrient-rich foods to students over the weekends to help bridge the meal gap many experience when school meals are unavailable.
They also hold community food distributions each week in the summer and attend several community events and PTA events throughout the year.