XavierHall4by SJC Press Room

Standish, Maine - Catherine’s Cupboard will operate its weekly food pantry operations out of the Standish Municipal Center until December 19, 2018. Following that date, Catherine’s Cupboard will take the next step forward in its longstanding commitment to supporting sustainable communities and combating food insecurity by investing its dedicated financial resources and volunteerism in other local pantries. Following statewide and regional recommendations, this change seeks to increase the effectiveness–through greater collaboration–in the hunger relief food distribution system.

Matthew Goodwin, Dean of Campus Life at Saint Joseph’s College and member of the Catherine’s Cupboard Board said, “Saint Joseph’s College Mercy Center Director Kathryn Cody and I remain committed to addressing food insecurity through this new direction for Catherine’s Cupboard. We are still maintaining the non profit status of Catherine’s Cupboard and keeping the Board in place. We will still run fundraising Clynk campaigns, conduct food drives, and assemble our much beloved annual Thanksgiving baskets. Our service to the community continues, but in a different way. We welcome meetings or correspondence with anyone who would like to participate in the creation of our new collaborations.”

For the past ten years, Catherine’s Cupboard weekly food pantry has served hundreds of families from several towns. Despite this, Maine’s food insecurity overall remains above the national average and has yet to return to pre-recession levels, according to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Saint Joseph’s College’s President James Dlugos said, “For many years, Saint Joseph’s College has been examining how to address food insecurity as part of its long-standing Mercy mission. Food insecurity remains at unacceptable levels in Maine overall and in the Lakes Region, in particular. We need to do better. The new direction for Catherine’s Cupboard follows state and regional recommendations and pursues what we hope will be a more sustainable approach. We are tackling systemic and proactive change, in addition to direct assistance.”

Saint Joseph’s College’s overall approach to food insecurity will now include:

1) ongoing use of Catherine’s Cupboard financial resources and College volunteerism to support emergency food distribution using a regional food distribution approach;

2) increased collaboration with external partner agencies who generate offer direct emergency food services, e.g. Wayside Food Programs and Good Shepherd Food Bank;

3) creating systemic change through innovative partnerships with the Center for Sustainable Communities and the Institute for Local Food System Innovation at the College.

President Dlugos said, “We appreciate how the Town of Standish has been a longstanding partner with us in assisting our neighbors who need help the most. We look forward to working with town leadership on future initiatives.”

Until December 19th, Catherine’s Cupboard volunteers will be assisting food pantry clients in understanding how to access Lakes Region food pantry support in Windham, Steep Falls, Limington, and other towns.

About Catherine’s Cupboard

Catherine’s Cupboard Food Pantry was founded in April, 2008 as a collaboration between Saint Joseph’s College’s Mercy Center, the Town of Standish, and the Bon Appétit Management Company. Later, Catherine’s Cupboard was run as a 501c3 with its own Board of Trustees and operated with funding from: the Town of Standish, the annual yield from an endowment established by Andrew & Helen McSween, and additional donations raised by Saint Joseph’s College. Initially operated out of the Steep Falls fire station, the pantry moved its operations to the Town of Standish’s new municipal center.

For more information, please contact Mercy Center Director Kathryn Cody at kcody@sjcme.edu or Dean of Campus Life Matthew Goodwin mgoodwin@sjcme.edu.