Director Rayna Leibowitz inside the new Litchfield Food Bank building at 56 Plains Road in Litchfield on Wednesday. Construction, which began in April 2022, is expected to wrap up by the early spring, Leibowitz said. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

LITCHFIELD – Construction of the new Litchfield Food Bank is nearing completion, and the group’s director said the facility could open by early spring.

“It’s going well, and we are very excited about it,” said Rayna Leibowitz, the food bank’s director. “We are finishing up electrical work now, and for some of the work that doesn’t require extensive experience or equipment like installing insulation and vinyl sidings, we are asking volunteers to help us.”

The food bank has been feeding Litchfield residents out of the Gowell’s Store building at 491 Richmond Road since March 2019. The new building, located on the grounds of Litchfield Plans Baptist Church at 56 Plains Road, will be owned and operated by the Litchfield Food Bank and will improve what the facility is able to offer residents.

Construction began in April of 2022.

The new building will have three times the square footage of the current space and will allow patrons to come in and choose food items, something that has not been possible so far. The building also has more storage space, allowing the food bank to serve more residents.

Director Rayna Leibowitz poses for a portrait Wednesday outside the new Litchfield Food Bank building at 56 Plains Road in Litchfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The food bank is currently serving 18 to 45 families per week and has served more than 100 families this year, Leibowitz said.


Good Shepherd Food Bank, which provides the majority of  groceries offered at the Litchfield Food Bank, helped fund the construction with a $50,000 grant from its Capacity Building grant program. The program funds various local food bank projects that allow the facilities to maintain or increase the number of people they serve.

The new Litchfield Food Bank includes this second-floor storage area that will allow the facility to serve more residents. The building has three times the square footage of the existing space that the food bank operates out of. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“As a Capacity Building Grant recipient, the Litchfield Food Bank exemplifies a genuine commitment to uplifting their community in the fight against hunger,” said Shannon Coffin, vice president of community partnerships at the Good Shepherd Food Bank. “From sourcing lumber from local businesses, employing local help and actively engaging the community, the Litchfield Food Bank’s approach showcases that ending hunger isn’t just a goal; it’s a community-wide effort where every aspect, from employment to purchases, contributes to a shared vision.”

Leibowitz said that while the grant money played a vital role in kickstarting the project, it has been exhausted. Now, the remaining work is being paid for by the money the organization has raised through fundraising efforts and donations.

“We have had two concerts so far, one this summer and one on Mother’s Day last year. We have also been inviting contributions from our community through our monthly newsletters,” said Leibowitz. “I will be looking to apply for more funding if other grant opportunities become available.”

The organization has raised $45,000 through these efforts.

Another fundraising event is scheduled to take place on Dec. 16, when a Christmas music concert will be held at the Litchfield Sportsmen’s Club at 1:30 p.m. Residents can donate any amount of money in order to attend.

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