The Bowdoinham Food Pantry will celebrate 10 years of battling food insecurity in the community by hosting a barbecue Saturday at 9 Main St.

Food Pantry Director Jennifer Stonebraker said the event is a nod to the first food drive and barbecue the pantry hosted in 2013 at the Bowdoinham Fire Station. The nonprofit’s outreach has grown considerably over the past decade.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve the Bowdoin and Bowdoinham communities; to be such an integral part of supporting our neighbors and in a fundamental way is a privilege,” Stonebraker said. “Our mission, at its core, is building community; we just happen to do it with food.”

Stonebraker said the cost of living continues to rise, and more families are using the pantry than ever before. In 2021, they served 96 households; in 2022, they served 183 households — a 90% increase in just one year, according to Stonebreaker. In 2019, before the pandemic, the pantry distributed 24,536 pounds of food, and in 2022, the pantry distributed 83,825 pounds of food — a nearly 242% increase.

According to the Good Shepard Food Bank of Maine, one in five Sagadahoc County children is food insecure. In 2021, the Bowdoinham Food Pantry served 59 children; in 2022, they served 180 children — a 205% increase.

“We have made a very conscious effort to knock down the stigma associated with utilizing the pantry,” Stonebraker said. “Our clients are met with respect, compassion and care every time they walk through our doors. We’ve created a culture based on a community of volunteers, staff, clients and donors that do not judge or shame; instead, we welcome and support.”

Locals are welcome to stop by the barbecue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for grilled hot dogs or hamburgers and a slice of cake, Stonebraker said. Aiming to collect $1,000 and 1,000 pounds of food, she said volunteers will accept monetary and food donations throughout the day.

“We are always in need of healthy snacks for kids (like) low-sugar granola bars, dried fruit, nuts; pasta sauce, canned tuna/chicken, rice, cooking oils; paper products such as paper towels, toilet paper; personal hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste,” she said.

For more information or to read the pantry weekly wish list, visit

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