How Maine Food Pantries Are Trying To Adapt To The Coronavirus

Mar 27, 2020

The attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has changed things for many. That includes food pantries.

Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn in November.
Credit Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

The increasing restrictions on gatherings and movement are leaving more people without jobs and the money needed even to get the most basic necessities. That is driving increased demand for Maine's food pantries. But at the same time, some are reporting trouble getting surplus food because people, afraid of disruptions, have been buying store shelves clean.

For the people who staff food pantries, there are the same concerns about keeping themselves from being infected. Increasingly, food pantries are imposing one-person-at-a-time limits and are prepackaging supplies to hand to people. In some cases, that is now happening outside the church or other building that is home to the food pantry.

Some food pantries have changed hours, some have suspended operations. Good Shepherd Food Bank has compiled a list of all of their partner food pantries with hours of operation, which they update regularly.

Also, below is a listing of food pantries around the state, their hours, and any changes they've made in how they operate. It is not a complete list — if you know of a food pantry we should add to this list, write us.

Updated 8:56 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020.