CAMDEN —The Camden Area Christian Food Pantry Board of Directors recently hosted a thank you luncheon for their volunteers. The event was hosted by Debbie Milliken, CACFP board volunteer coordinator, at her home in Rockport.

Managed by five local churches, CACFP is staffed completely by volunteers. While the past year and a half has been a difficult time for many, one positive aspect has been the dedication of the volunteers who serve families at Camden Area Christian Food Pantry. This includes more than a dozen individuals who show up week after week to provide food to community members who might otherwise suffer food insecurity.

There are many volunteers working behind the scenes, but it’s the Tuesday and Thursday teams that serve families who have had to “weather” the most change with the onset of COVID 19. At the beginning of the pandemic when clients weren’t allowed inside the pantry, this team, clad in snow and rain gear, worked outside in order to take orders from clients in their cars, and then return to the cars pushing carts of food and supplies.

As CACFP worked through the pandemic, the delivery method changed, too, as the pantry perfected how best to serve clients. Many hours were devoted to researching how to set up the pantry for different scenarios, whether it be car or curbside delivery, or eventually welcoming customers inside the pantry. At the heart of all this was Pauline Johnstone, a volunteer and CACFP board member since the inception of the pantry.

Meanwhile, the creation of menus provide a variety of food choices each week. Two individuals come to the pantry on Sundays to set up food stations that correlate with the menu, other volunteers come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays in advance of opening to set up perishables for the day, and some of this same crew come back after hours to fill freezers with meat orders that are delivered to the pantry each week.

At CACFP, the volunteers are the life blood of the organization without whom the organization wouldn’t exist.

While the CACFP Board (Ashley Hunt, Alex Arau, Terry Hurlbut, Sharon Danforth, Judy Clossey, Don Moody, Gayle Palmer, Deb Endl, Rick Rector, Leamon Scott, Bill Freeman, Phil Groman, Pauline Johnstone, Faith Vautour, and Debra Milliken) appreciate each and every volunteer who serves the pantry, this event was held to specifically acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of the Tuesday and Thursday teams.

Camden Area Christian Food Pantry is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving residents of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Islesboro, Lincolnville, Rockport, Searsmont, Union, Washington, and others in need.

To learn more about Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, visit http://www.camdenareachristianfoodpantry.org or http://www.facebook.com/CamdenFoodPantry.