Cumberland holds online food drive for 80 families

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CUMBERLAND — The success of the town’s Thanksgiving food drive has inspired the way a Christmas effort is being conducted.

Both events support 80 families from Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Pownal and New Gloucester who visit the Town Hall-based food pantry each month.

Instead of receiving random items from donors, the town has posted an online registry of foods and other needs at https://goo.gl/ygmkeX.

Contributors are asked to drop items off at the Town Hall Council Chambers, 290 Tuttle Road, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. Since the pantry lacks the space to store donations ahead of time, the two-hour window will be the only time they can be delivered.

The room will open the following day so the families can pick up what they need.

With nearly two weeks to go as of Dec. 8, many of the slots had already been filled. Requests were fulfilled for holiday plates and napkins, chicken or turkey broth, canned and creamed corn, and hot cocoa.

Slots remained open for slice-and-bake cookie dough, red and green sprinkles, canned pineapple, regular coffee, packages of bacon, half-gallons of apple cider, pancake mix, single-family sizes of maple syrup, quart or gallon storage bags, egg noodles, boxes of crackers, 5-pound bags of potatoes, and bags of chocolate chips, green and red holiday M&Ms, onions, and carrots.

The speed at which the Christmas sign-up is filling up reflects what the town saw for Thanksgiving, Communications Director and Assistant Town Clerk Eliza Porter said Dec. 7.

“We were so surprised that so many families, organizations and businesses were willing to do whatever they could to make sure that the families in the food pantry had a special Thanksgiving,” she noted, adding when dropping off items for the earlier food drive, many people asked if the town would be holding a similar effort for Christmas.

Indeed it is, “and we’re being blown away every day by how generous the community is, and how thoughtful people are,” Porter said. “… It’s nice to see so many people coming out and supporting the food pantry.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Girl Scout Troop 188 and Cumberland food pantry volunteers helped with the intake and organization of donations received for its Thanksgiving food drive, the success of which the town hopes to repeat this Christmas.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.