Please see press release and FAQs below for changes under way at Catherine’s Cupboard
“We can never say ‘It’s enough’ while our friends and neighbors go hungry.”
~ Catherine McAuley
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.
Food Pantry Location (until December 19th)
Standish Town Hall
175 Northeast Rd
Standish, ME 04084
- Open each Wednesday evening, 5-6:30 p.m.
Note: Closed when Standish public schools are closed due to weather (RSU 6).
Catherine’s Cupboard is open and available to residents of Cumberland County and parts of York County, Maine. Registered clients are eligible to regularly receive food once per calendar month. However, no pre-registration is necessary.
Catherine’s Cupboard Refocuses Efforts on Regional Food Pantry Approach,
Ceases Pantry at Standish Municipal Center
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.
For more information, please contact Mercy Center Director Kathryn Cody at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dean of Campus Life Matthew Goodwin email@example.com.
FAQs About Changes at Catherine’s Cupboard
Is Catherine’s Cupboard “closing”?
Catherine’s Cupboard (CC) is changing how it operates. It is changing from a food pantry that operates independently to a food pantry that collaborates and integrates itself into a regional food pantry approach. CC will continue to invest the same financial resources (approximately $11,000/year yield from the College’s McSween endowed fund) to purchase food supplies and it will still run Clynk campaigns, food drives, submit foundation grant requests, and create Thanksgiving baskets.
Is Catherine’s Cupboard leaving families unsupported?
At each pantry night until December 19th, Catherine’s Cupboard is making sure that families understand how to access the approximately 60 food pantries in Cumberland County, including several in the Lakes Region (e.g., Windham, Limington, Steep Falls). After that point, the Cupboard will collaborate with other pantries and donate the same finances and resources in a way that helps more people.
What is the “new direction” for Catherine’s Cupboard?
The new direction is to help more people by using the same resources in a more effective way. If Catherine’s Cupboard continues to operate as it does now, it can provide approximately 8,000 meals per year. If it supports a regional pantry approach, its financial resources can provide, at a minimum, approximately 44,000 meals per year. (This is based upon Good Shepherd Food Bank’s calculation of how many meals per dollar they can provide.) In short, Catherine’s Cupboard is going to try and create a fivefold positive impact by changing to a regional pantry approach.
Can I still volunteer and make a difference?
Absolutely, yes, volunteers are still needed to run Clynk campaigns, run food donation drives, and make Thanksgiving baskets for Catherine’s Cupboard so that we can participate in this regional approach. You will be hearing about a student running a CC campaign for the rest of this semester. Volunteers will still be needed at all Lakes Region food pantries.
Did the Town of Standish make the decision?
No, the Town of Standish did not make this decision. The Town did not allocate funds this year to support Catherine’s Cupboard as they have in past years and they did express that continuing to run a food pantry out of the Standish Municipal Center was no longer a good fit, but these were only two factors out of many that influenced the decision.
Was this a College leadership decision?
This was a joint decision. Catherine’s Cupboard is a non-profit corporation that serves the mission of the College and the Sisters of Mercy. Significant decisions like this are made jointly by the Board of Directors and College leadership. Several members of the Board are also SJC employees. A member of College leadership (the V.P. of Mission Integration) was also a member of Catherine’s Cupboard Board until he accepted another position in August. Because of its Mercy mission, College leadership will continue to encourage Catherine’s Cupboard’s Board of Directors to find the most effective path to helping people in need.
Is this a lessening of commitment to Mercy mission?
Each year, students, faculty, and staff consciously reach out beyond college boundaries to serve the needs of others with compassion and mercy, contributing over 30,000 hours of service to more than 50 schools, hospitals, nonprofits, municipalities, and agencies in Maine, other states, and other countries, for example:
- We invite you to notice the many athletic teams that raise money for causes and “adopt” children with special needs onto their teams;
- We invite you to notice the hundreds of students, faculty, and staff who spend their holiday breaks each year volunteering in impoverished communities across the country, as well as in Haiti and Guatemala;
- We hope that you’ll join the coalition of students, faculty, and staff who help Lakes Region residents in need better winterize their homes so they can afford to stay warm;
- We hope that you’ll join us for the Beth Auger Day of Service where staff and faculty fan out across eleven towns to volunteer for the day;
- And the Mercy Center will continue welcoming volunteers in its efforts to expand the fight against food insecurity.
Was this decision related to the restructuring of the College a year ago?
No, Catherine’s Cupboard is a separate 501c3 with its own funding and Board of Directors. The College’s restructure a year ago is not related to this decision.
Where should I start if I want to volunteer?
Some key contacts for identifying and scheduling ways that you can volunteer in the community include: Kathryn Cody firstname.lastname@example.org in the Mercy Center (Catherine’s Cupboard and Spring Break Workfest trips), Kimberly Post email@example.com in Academics and the Center for Sustainable Communities, and Steve Bridge firstname.lastname@example.org in Theology (service trips abroad).
Providing Sustainable Solutions
Besides handing out food, the pantry, which serves nearly 1,500 people:
- educates families;
- teaches them how to garden;
- and how to cook healthy foods.
In addition, we have opened Catherine’s Closet where clean, donated clothing and blankets are handed out to families in the region each Wednesday as well, from 5-6:30 p.m., weather permitting.
How Can You Help?
Catherine’s Cupboard runs 100% on donations. We are always looking for community partners to work with us to end hunger in Maine. Volunteers are also in demand and vital to the success of our programs.
Want to be a part of something wonderful and lend a hand to help others? Volunteer to set up and distribute food on Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. or 4-7 p.m.
Catherine’s Cupboard accepts both monetary donations and donations of goods and services.
For monetary donations, please mail cash or check (payable to Catherine’s Cupboard) to:
Saint Joseph’s College
278 Whites Bridge Rd
Standish, ME 04084
For donations of goods (including food) and services, see individual instructions below:
- Food items and miscellaneous hygiene products may be deposited in the donation receptacles located at the Standish Town Hall and around the College.
- To donate all other items or services, please contact Kathryn Cody at 207-893-7794 or email@example.com.
We supply the CLYNK bags and stickers. You fill them up with returnable bottles and cans. It’s that simple!
Drop-off locations are available at all participating Hannaford locations. 100% of proceeds go directly to Catherine’s Cupboard Food Pantry, making it an easy way to give back. For more information on participating in the program, email Kathryn Cody at firstname.lastname@example.org.