Fr. David Sivret of the Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry and Ian Pratt hope to fill the coolers and shelves at the pantry after Pratt’s donation-match campaign this month. The campaign aims to bring in a $10,000 donation to be used across all Washington County food pantries. (Photo by Jayna Smith)

Local Pantries Could Receive up to $10,000 After Matched Donation from Pratt


By Jayna Smith

Looming cold temperatures always bring an increase in demand for the local food pantries.  With the added increase of the home heating bill, many are left with little discretionary money to spend on food.   

Recognizing how great the need is for the food pantries in Washington County and in an effort to decrease food insecurity locally, businessman Ian Pratt is once again matching donations of up to $5,000 to local food pantries.  He has done a matching donation campaign for several years.  

“Anybody can bring in a donation [to the dealership] and I will match it dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000, for food pantries within Washington County,” Pratt said.  

Of all funds raised, in the end, it could mean a $10,000 donation to be shared among the local food pantries.  If one wants to designate his or her donation to a specific Washington County pantry, Pratt said that is acceptable as well and he will match it.  Otherwise, the funds collected will be split across the county.

“The food pantry can buy their food much more economically,” Pratt said, explaining that when money, rather than non-perishables, is donated to the pantries, the pantries can use the money for building upkeep if needed, or even to purchase food at much lower prices than the average consumer.  

Fr. David Sivret of the Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry in Calais explained that a dollar is spread much further when the pantry spends it at the Good Shepherd Food Bank.  And for the Calais pantry, shopping occurs locally as well, and those donated dollars help tremendously.

“We do a lot of local purchasing,” Fr. Sivret said.  “Some things we can’t get at Good Shepherd.”  He said, for example, that sometimes Good Shepherd does not have eggs.  It also does not have available certain types of pasta.  “We shop around for the best price,” he said.  

Other items purchased locally on a regular basis include bread, tomato and chicken noodle soups, Hamburger Helper, and many other items, as well as food items and juice and small milks for the backpack program.

With the influx in the number who will utilize the food pantry in the coming months, Fr. Sivret said of Pratt’s campaign, “It’s great. It comes at a good time of year. Funds are getting low.”  

“The food pantries fill so many needs of people who just can’t quite make it,” Pratt said.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to be matched up to $5,000 this month can drop one off to Pratt on the River Road in Calais.  Checks can be made out to Pratt for a general donation to be split across the Washington County food pantries, or checks can be made payable to a specific Washington County food pantry that will still be matched.  The donations are tax-deductible and receipts can be provided.

Pratt encourages any size donation, stating, “No amount is too small.”

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