Bringing Food Home: Wiscasset Ford Gives Back

Members of Wiscasset Ford pose before the opening of the first food pantry. (Photo Credit: Healthy Lincoln County)

Last Sunday most of us were busy cleaning up the snow that Mother Nature gave us for the weekend. I was cleaning up and getting ready for my first annual food pantry in the parking lot at work.

Wiscasset Ford General Sales Manager Andrew Whittaker packs boxes for patrons in the dealer's first food pantry.  (Photo Credit: Healthy Lincoln County)

Wiscasset Ford General Sales Manager Andrew Whittaker packs boxes for patrons in the dealer’s first food pantry. (Photo Credit: Healthy Lincoln County)

I arrived in Wiscasset on Sunday morning. My Healthy Lincoln County van was loaded with apples, Lysol wipes, and odds and ends I had collected for the event. As I walked into the showroom, I paused with my mouth wide open as I stared at the astonishing amount of food Wiscasfordford purchased. The one I brought did not dent. In fact, it barely filled one of the tables.

By 9:30 a.m., people were queuing outside the building in anticipation of pantry necessities advertised for needy families. At 10 a.m. the doors opened and the first people to enter the showroom stopped in as much awe as I did, opening their mouths to the vast amount of food available. Filled with cake syrup, mix, another table had condiments, spaghetti sauce, pasta, and paneer bread.

Cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and a table dedicated to snacks such as crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, canned fruit, and cereal bars delighted many parents. Everything that growing children beg for at the grocery store. They eat us out of the house, and today, with the cost of everything rising, that statement couldn’t be more true.

As people made their way to the exit, there was more to see, including shirts donated by Big Al and boxes filled with toys for girls and boys from the Dollar Store. Helping hands were carrying boxes for people, loading them into cars, and making sure my packets of winter resources landed in those boxes.

I’ve heard many people ask, “How can you do this?” Followed by, “Is this something only Wiscasset Ford does?” The simple answer was “yes.” Because I wanted to do something for the community. They wanted to help people in a practical way by purchasing items that were becoming more and more expensive for people to get their hands on. We decided to host an event to reach out to families who might not be able to make it to the food pantry during the week.

Wiscasset Ford's showroom turned into a food pantry over the weekend.  (Photo Credit: Healthy Lincoln County)

Wiscasset Ford’s showroom turned into a food pantry over the weekend. (Photo Credit: Healthy Lincoln County)

The entire event was planned in just under four weeks, with the team purchasing items and storing them in the showroom until the big day. They collected boxes from the Bath pantry, rented a table from the Wiscasset Community Centre, and word of the event began to spread. I went in to help with the publicity, but there was a lot of turnout for the work of School Resources Officer Barnes at the Wiscasset Police Department. , handed some to those most in need.

That’s how it happens, folks. Some of the best events require minimal planning if the right team is in charge. That “suitable team” went into full swing last Sunday, and over 90 families are feeling a little safer this holiday season thanks to their generosity and hard work.

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