Farm to Table Partner: Freeport Community Services
With the emergence and escalation of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Farm to Table Series in order to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff. Despite this, our work to transform the way we farm and eat has never been more important. We’re teaming up with four organizations focused on food insecurity to direct the food, staff time, communications and logistics that go into our Farm to Events to supporting their efforts in feeding people. A stronger local food system will help all of us through this crisis, and will create a more resilient future for food and farming.
Learn more about Freeport Community Services, our most local partner organization and food pantry, on their role in this time of need:
How did you respond to the pandemic, and has anything changed for you over the past few months?
In our response to the pandemic, we had to make the difficult decision to close our Community Center. This not only meant that our Thrift Shop would not be open, but it also meant that we had to implement significant changes to the way we offer our programs to the community. Our food pantry has shifted from being open from 10-4 four days a week to now having prepackaged bags of food available on our loading dock from 11-1 Monday and Wednesday. Other critical need programs offered at FCS have been accessible via phone and email. We have been so grateful for the strong partnerships we have with the Freeport and Pownal municipalities, RSU5, and other service providers in the area as well as the outpouring of support from the community.
At this point, the center remains closed to the public which also includes our volunteers. We were able to reopen our thrift shop with limited hours, 12-5 Tuesday and Friday, and have been so pleased and humbled by all of those who come to shop. We have been processing applications for help with Summer Camp scholarships and are working with the RSU5 to provide volunteer support to their incredible efforts providing meals to children within our community throughout the summer.
What does community mean to you?
Community means everything. FCS’s mission is exemplified in neighbor helping neighbor, we are here to help the community and are able to do so by the community believing in and supporting FCS. We are very fortunate to exist in the community that we do, there are so many amazing folks from all walks of life who are connected to FCS in one way or another, making for such a special, vibrant place.
How are you connected to farms, food, & community?
We are fortunate to have multiple local farms (WNC included!) as well as partnerships with two gleaning programs that help provide fresh food for our food pantry. It is always such a treat when we have freshly picked produce to share with our neighbors in need when so often food that the pantry receives is on its last leg. It’s pretty simple, actually; local farms donate produce, food, and we share it with the community!
What is important for people to understand about who you are and who you serve?
FCS is a low barrier agency. We do not have income guidelines or limits, our programs are available for anyone in need living in Freeport or Pownal. FCS is not only a resource to community members in need, but it is a place where friendships are formed, celebrations happen, lives are changed, and progress is made.
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