We supply food and emergency heating assistance in a cheerful and respectful atmosphere for those who need it in the greater Eastport area. Come in for help or help us continue this good work.
Here at Eastport Labor Of Love, we supply staples once a month in the form of a large box filled with shelf stable food.
You are also welcome to come in for perishable weekly vegetables, fruit, meat and fish all month long on Fridays.
To register for assistance, please speak to the Food Pantry Manger, Patti Loring, who may be reached at 207-853-0812.
In case of emergency need, please leave a message at 207-853-0812 and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Our Impact in 2020
households received assistance in 2020
individuals served in 2020
average pounds of food delivered each month in 2020
gallons of heating fuel and 5 cords of wood, cut, split and delivered
More than thirty years ago, Fern and Bob Garrapy saw the need for a food pantry serving the Eastport area. With the help of the Pentecostal Assembly and a few volunteers, the Labor of Love Food Pantry became a reality.
Many faithful volunteers filled boxes and helped in other ways; though for more than twenty years Fern and Bob steered the pantry, ordered food, fielded phone calls, and looked for funding. Later, they received great assistance from John and Judy Knapp, who oversaw the day-to-day operation of the pantry while Fern continued as manager.
As it grew, the Labor of Love struggled to find a permanent home. The location changed a number of times, from one set of loaned or rented quarters to another. Sometimes those quarters were without sufficient heat and inadequate in size.
In 2005, the Greater Eastport Ecumenical Churches Assn. (GEECA), which had provided some fiscal oversight and legal sponsorship for the food pantry, realized that a dedicated location for the pantry was vital to its continued operation. In planning for the building, GEECA wanted a multi-use building that could house the pantry as well as provide a place for cooking and nutrition programs. A search was launched for a piece of property. ASSIST-JC, a mission group for teens sponsored by All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, offered to frame the building and provided the materials as well.
Major grants for the building, equipment and furnishings came through the U. S. Department of Agriculture and a Community Development Block Grant. Private foundations, local banks, and churches made generous contributions. Many local tradespeople and professionals contributed their services at cost or pro bono. Volunteers provided most of the labor in construction of the building. Quilts were raffled and the schooner Hallie and Matthew was chartered for a fundraising cruise. Most appreciated of all were the many contributions from people who live right here, who helped move the red line upward on the thermometer sign installed near the road.
Labor of Love Nutrition Center opened its doors in 2007; and in 2016 the food pantry was renamed Garrapy Food Pantry, honoring the work of founders Fern and Bob Garrapy. The Center also offers cooking classes for good nutrition and special dietary needs. The Maker of Meals education program reaches families with children. In season, Labor of Love provides emergency heating assistance and a Christmas dinner basket program. The most recent addition is an outdoor walk-in freezer, made possible by Maine Community Foundation.
Patti Loring, the current pantry manager, plans and orders food for the short and long term and ensures that the facility runs smoothly and efficiently. She works with Good Shepherd Food Bank, the primary source of food for our pantry, and oversees the thirty or so volunteers who assemble boxes and unload trucks.
The Labor of Love intends to continue operating for years to come, relying on volunteers who give their time and skills and on the openhearted contributions of people in the Eastport area and beyond.
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