Why are people hungry?
Basically, there’s no good reason for people in Maine to go hungry. There’s plenty of food. The problem has always been overcoming the economic and political obstacles that prevent food from reaching those who need it. Ending hunger means solving these more systemic problems while, at the same time, doing everything we can on a daily basis to feed hungry people.
Many people are hungry because they get sick or injured, a spouse or parent dies, or they lose their job or are unable to work. Unfortunately, these bad breaks happen all the time to people in all socio-economic conditions, forcing them to make painful choices like whether to buy food to eat or pay their rent or other living expenses.
Where are people hungry in our region?
People are hungry everywhere in our region. Not one community among all of Maine’s cities and towns is spared. That’s because hunger is as much a problem of working-class and middle-class people as it is a challenge faced by the poor and it’s a problem that affect both rural and urban areas.
Can hunger ever be solved?
Hunger in America can be eliminated. It will take both the public and private sector to join in a determined partnership to address the economic, political, and personal barriers that contribute to hunger. It will require leadership and a broad agreement that everyone has a role to play. In addition to individuals donating food, contributing money and volunteering to support relief organizations and service providers, we can also urge business and political leaders towards greater involvement in solving hunger issues.
How can I help?
The Tree of Life Food Pantry also relies on the generosity of food donors, including supermarkets, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and others. Individuals and organizations also donate food through Food Drives.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers, The Tree of Life Food Pantry helps provide food to more than 200 families per week, right here on our peninsula. Volunteers help in many ways, including unloading, sorting and stocking food on Tuesdays and Thursdays and helping to run the TurnStyle Thrift Shop. Learn more about volunteering.
What is the Tree of Life service area?
The Tree of Life Food Pantry serves all 8 towns on the Blue Hill Peninsula: Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Orland, Penobscot, Sedgwick, and Surry. No one in need of food is turned away. Currently over 900 families are registered. Between 190 and 300 families come in for food each week.
Do people who are hungry go directly to The Tree of Life for food?
Yes. The pantry is open on Thursdays from 9am – 3pm. First-time clients are asked to provide their name, town, phone number, and number of adults & children living in the home. There is no income verification or other form of needs criteria to receive food. On subsequent visits, clients are asked their name at check-in. All information is confidential.