PHILLIPS — The Phillips Food Pantry urgently needs a new home and could face closure if one is not found soon, said volunteer Dorrie White.

The pantry is currently located at the Town Office, 15 Russell St. However, the office will be moving by the end of the year, potentially as early as mid-November, said Town Manager Maureen Haley.

“Skowhegan Savings Bank donated its building on Main Street to the town after it closed and, in 2018, voters accepted the property,” Haley said. “Voters also gave selectmen the authority to relocate the town office and decide when that should happen.”

Haley said the relocation would happen sometime after the Nov. 5 elections.

Even though the town has provided space for the pantry, they are separate entities, she said.

While Haley was not sure what would become of the Russell Street building, she said heating the aging building for one room was not effective. The future town office space does not have room for the pantry.


Volunteer Dorrie White packs a box of food Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Phillips Food Pantry. The pantry could close if it does not find a new home soon. Dee Menear/Franklin Journal


The pantry serves the residents of Phillips, Avon and Madrid. “We will give food to anyone who comes in but we try to direct them to a food pantry serving their area,” White said.

During the first nine months of the year, the pantry served 375 households, providing meals for 801 individuals.

The food pantry is a non-profit organization and relies on donations and grant funding to operate. It is staffed entirely by volunteers, White said.

“Our current space is about 24 by 36 feet, plus some room in the hallway,” White said. “We are only open four days a month for a total of 11 hours.”

White has reached out to several local businesses, organizations and individuals to see if they could provide the space needed. The owner of one vacant Phillips business expressed interest but there were several drawbacks, White said.


“The electricity runs about $600 or $700 a month because there are six streetlights on the property,” White said. “The building would also need significant repairs. It just isn’t feasible for us.”

Even if it was practical the property’s rural location, nearly 6 miles from the center of town, could prove to be a hardship for those without transportation, she said.

“We could possibly merge with another area food pantry. I hate to do that because travel really can be an issue,” she added.

Other area food pantries are located in Salem Township, Farmington and Rangeley.

“If we don’t find something, I will have to liquidate the food we have here and find somewhere to store the freezers until we find something,” she said. “I really hate to consider liquidating but I don’t know where else to look,” White said. “If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to have them contact us.”

White can be reached at 491-0118. People can also reach out to volunteer Glenis Jackson at 639-3831.

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