Nobleboro trucking company Eastern Traders Inc. proved that good neighbors can make all the difference last week by using one of their refrigerated trucks to deliver supplies to the Jefferson Food Pantry, according to a news release from Jenny Mayher.

Tod Hartung of Eastern Traders Inc., unloading the food delivery at the Jefferson Food Pantry. Eastern Traders is a Nobleboro-based trucking company. Photo courtesy of Jefferson Food Pantry

The food pantry needed to move nearly a ton of food from the Good Shepherd Food Bank warehouse in Auburn to the Jefferson location for distribution to local clients. The food was perishable and included eggs, cheese, milk, orange juice, and other refrigerated goods, and the regular volunteer that usually makes deliveries was unavailable.

“The need came up on our weekly call with Lincoln County Food Pantries,” said Lincoln County Food Initiative Coordinator Jess Breithaupt, according to the release. “I figured that LCFI could help, and I knew we couldn’t waste any time, since this food has a limited shelf life, and this time of year we needed refrigeration. I asked around for who has refrigerated trucks in this area, and headed over to Eastern Traders. One conversation was all it took.” After talking to employee Tod Hartung and owner Deb Sanderson, Breithaupt found herself a truck.

“We are always willing to help out with something like this,” said Sanderson. Eastern Traders sent a truck to Auburn and loaded more than 1,500 pounds of refrigerated items and delivered them to Jefferson. She went along for the ride.

“It was a bumpy ride, and quite an adventure,” Sanderson said. “Cases of cheese are heavy!”

Lincoln County Food Initiative is a coalition of local businesses and nonprofits that have joined forces to combat food insecurity in the time of COVID. The organization hosts a hotline where people can call to connect with local service providers. LCFI partners include Healthy Lincoln County, the CLC YMCA, Kieve-Wavus Education, Inc., Rising Tide, Main Street Grocery, S. Ferrnald’s Country Store, and many other local businesses and nonprofit organizations. For more information follow the Lincoln County Food Initiative on social media or call the hotline at 207-563-6658. Breithaupt can be reached at [email protected].