BRIDGTON — They say no good deed goes unpunished. But with a friend like Lisa Grandchamp, the punishment could be so deserved it might result in a trip to Costa Rica. That is exactly what happened to Terry and Sandy Swett of North Bridgton.

Terry Swett, left, and Sandy Swett of Bridgton receive the news they won an all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica. Sandy Swett was nominated by family friend Lisa Grandchamp for her work with the Harrison Food Bank. Supplied photo

Sandy Swett is the tireless operations manager and founder of the Harrison Food Bank. In the three and a half years since she got the organization off the ground, it has more than tripled its families served; since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic as many as 500 cars will drive through its parking lot at 176 Waterford Road in Harrison every Tuesday for a week’s worth of groceries.

Swett oversees volunteer coordination to transport, unload, pack and distribute food on a daily basis. She has enlisted Rotary members to deliver food to assisted living facilities and those shut-in during the public health emergency. She has secured grants to expand services and equipment and successfully solicited donations of trucks, shelter and other major logistics.

She has appeared on national cable and network news shows to educate the country on the fight against food insecurity in rural Maine. Clients from at least five Maine counties and into New Hampshire have relied on the Harrison Food Bank over the last year as the pandemic wreaked havoc with public health and the economy.

Lisa Grandchamp has been a family friend and employee of the Swetts’ farm and and business since 1993. Last summer she drove her recreational vehicle to Maine from Alaska to help them out during COVID-19, pitching in wherever they needed an extra set of hands – including at the food bank. She has seen first-hand the way Swett doggedly works to make a difference for families in need.

Grandchamp is also a self-proclaimed huge fan of Costa Rica. Daily she receives emails about Costa Rica, from places to visit to places to move to and where to work. So when a message showed up in her inbox from the country’s tourism board about nominating an essential worker for an all-expenses paid vacation there, she immediately knew that Swett needed to be entered.

“I wanted to recognize Sandy and Terry as essential workers,” Grandchamp explained. “They work constantly, making sure people have enough to eat. I’ve never seen a food bank like in Harrison. They aren’t just providing meals, they make sure anyone who needs help gets a week of groceries at a time.”

Granchamp’s entry was short and to the point:

“Sandy Swett is the Director of Operations with the Harrison Food Bank in Harrison, Maine. This food bank serves 62 towns in Western Maine and feeds over 500 families every single Tuesday. Sandy barely gets paid yet she works diligently every day and night with book work, volunteers, food distributors, deliveries (most of which she drives to if a mishap happens with trucks or volunteers), the horrifying logistics of spacing and outdoor boxes of food given outside to those in need via drive-through in winter in Maine during this virus.

“Sandy isn’t stopping. She is now trying to line up trucks to deliver food to seniors who cannot get out to the food bank. She and her husband deserve a vacation and she would find the peaceful environment of Costa Rica a blessing! She may have Mainers still trying to call her, but with it being international calling, maybe she can relax for once. Ha! Thank you for considering Sandy Swett!”

Grandchamp captured the moment the Swetts learned of their reward on video earlier this month.


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