Dozens of vehicles line up Wednesday afternoon at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford for boxes of produce and milk distributed by the USDA Farmers to Families program. A total of 1,000 boxes were distributed. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — One thousand boxes containing produce and a gallon of milk — all free — were loaded into vehicles Wednesday afternoon at Mountain Valley High School on a first come, first served basis.

A line half a mile long formed along Hancock Street for the distribution from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families program.

Allie Burke, executive director of the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, said she arrived at 7 a.m. to help unload the truckload of food for the 9 a.m. distribution, but she soon learned the truck was on its way to Machias.

Rumford reserve police officer Doug Maifeld advised those waiting that the food would not be available until 1:30 p.m. He said the line along Hancock Street stretched for half a mile.

To facilitate the distribution, White’s Yardworks of Rumford volunteered to help unload the boxes.

Recipients were told to wear masks, stay in their vehicle and open the trunk or hatch for a volunteer to  load a box.

A few boxes that remained after the distribution were delivered to interested people by volunteer Gary Dolloff who reached out through social media.

Vehicles line up Wednesday afternoon along Hancock Street in Rumford for free food distributed at Mountain Valley High School through the USDA Farmers to Families program. One thousand boxes were loaded into vehicles. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

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