WOODSTOCK — Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center was unable to open its doors for regular youth programming this summer. That meant that the dining hall were many kids would eat their mid-day meals would remain empty.

Bryant Pond 4-H Camp lent its dining facilities out to be used to address food insecurity in Oxford county. Supplied photo

“Our dining hall was sitting empty,” said Program Director Ron Fournier. “We have a kitchen. There is plenty of food storage space and room to spread food out and repackage for distribution. We have vans that could be used to move bulk goods in [and deliver allotments] to area food pantries.”

Fournier applied for an exemption to allow the dining facility at the camp be utilized as a staging center for food distribution. Workers brought bulk food supplies to the camp like 50 50-pound bags of flour and of sugar, basics that were sometimes hard to find on the shelf.

“Even though we are closed, we have been able help with food insecurity initiatives through the pandemic,” Fournier said. We used our vans to work with Good Shepherd Food Bank and distribute to food pantries in at least eight of the River Valley communities. We took in commodities and beverage, all in bulk, and broke them down to supply eight smaller food banks.”

The Bryant Pond food initiative was spearheaded through the Bethel Food Pantry and funded with grants secured by that organization.


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