On Wednesday, the People Who Care Food Cupboard in Madison provided food for more than 378 individuals at their weekly distribution. This weekend they are adding a new service: handing out food and a moment of sociability at a nearby drug store.

The cupboard, which serves the towns of Anson, Embden, Madison, New Portland and North Anson, from 108 Old Point Ave. in Madison, has been providing meals to the community despite shortening hours to comply with Maine Center for Disease Control recommendations regarding social distancing and avoiding gatherings of more than eight to 10 individuals at a time.

Shannon Drury, pictured here in January 2019, said Thursday that the People Who Care Food Cupboard in Madison would be starting a new service this weekend. Morning Sentinel file photo

Shannon Drury, the executive director of People Who Care, said that before she had to cut back on volunteers, she had more than 30 at any given time.

“Right now we have eight to 10 on to follow CDC guidelines,” she said. “Anybody that has called or come to me that is in need of food no matter where they’re from, we’ve accommodated to.”

To get the meals Wednesdays, Drury said that people do not need to call ahead; they just need to line up in their vehicles at the cupboard from 9 a.m. to noon. A volunteer will come to the vehicle, take a headcount and ask what town the group is coming from.

Each box contains pasta, canned fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese, and butter.

“(They contain) whatever I can get my hands on,” Drury said. “When we are not going through a crisis like this, our cupboard is set up like a grocery store when we are open. We have cards and people can pick what they’d like.”

“My fear is that, looking at the poverty rates, people are not getting the food that they need,” Drury said. Because of their location, she said they do not have as many resources as other areas, such as Portland or Augusta.

“We do not have a lot of food kitchens up here,” she said. “There is not a lot of access for people to get food if they are hungry.”

Starting this weekend, Drury said, a meal and social interaction will be available at Taylor’s Drug Store at 2 Old Point Ave. from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“If they missed Wednesday or they’re just hungry, we’re going to make sure that people have a sandwich, a bottle of Gatorade and just some words of encouragement,” Drury said. “We will also have bags available for any family that tells us that they’re hungry and don’t have money to get to the grocery store.”

The event will resume every weekend until the pantry reopens on a regular basis, Drury said. For more information, People Who Care Food Cupboard is on Facebook. Drury can be reached at 399-0452.

“We’re all volunteers,” Drury said. “I’m so, so happy to see how the community has come together to help those in need.”


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