OXFORD — The town’s new food pantry is open, and the response has been powerful, organizers said Thursday.
The Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry held its ribbon cutting after four days running. Organizer Suzanne Grover said that in the two weeks since it opened its doors, nearly 70 people from 24 families have come for food.
Grover gave a short speech Thursday, thanking the volunteers who helped organize the pantry before Oxford Selectman Roger Jackson cut the ribbon.
The room on the third floor of the Oxford Town Hall is stocked with canned and dry food as well as fresh bread, frozen goods and personal items.
Volunteer Marge Owens said local markets, including Future Foods in Mechanic Falls and the Dollar Tree in Oxford, have given the pantry discounts.
Owens said people from Hebron and Otisfield are invited to use the pantry, as there is no food pantry serving those towns. Anyone interested in receiving food from the pantry needs a slip from the town, a church or a nonprofit such as Community Concepts, confirming that they are receiving assistance or are having financial trouble.
The pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and other times are available by appointment.
Pantry organizers are looking for canned and dry goods, personal hygiene products and cash donations. The pantry has already received more than $2,500 and Town Manager Michael Chammings said more is expected to come in the next week.
Owens said mail carriers brought 67 boxes of food to the pantry last week. “It is all gone,” she said Thursday.
“There’s a wicked need out there,” she said. “It’s overwhelming.”