For about the last ten years, Ian Pratt at Pratt Cars has held a donation-match campaign throughout the month of November that helps bring in needed funds to area food pantries. His idea came to fruition after realizing how great the needs are for the pantries in Washington County.
Anyone taking part in his matching donation campaign could simply bring his or her donation to the Pratt car dealership throughout the month of November, where all donations would be matched, up to $5,000.
At the end of the campaign, with all donations made and Pratt’s match, $6,000 was raised to be split among local food pantries in Baileyville, Calais, Eastport, and Lubec.
Fr. David Sivret, who manages the Calais Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry, said of the annual donation, “It is a blessing to receive this money for the food pantry. It allows us to purchase more items that we need during this time of COVID-19.”
Lindy McClellan, of the Eastport Labor of Love Food Pantry, was on hand to accept her pantry’s portion of the donation. She echoed the thoughts of Fr. Sivret on how helpful the financial assistance is, adding, “It helps us continue the support for the work we’re doing, which I think is really important right now.”
Pratt is happy to be able to offer the matching campaign each year. He expressed his feelings of how food insecurity should not be as common as it is in this day and age. “The food pantry is a very important part of our community in that a lot of people fall through the cracks. They're in a really hard situation and can’t really necessarily get assistance quickly. The pantry is a great way to help people who hit on hard times or to help supplement what they might already be receiving,” he said, adding, “There’s no reason that anyone should have to go hungry, there’s no reason for that at all.”
Pratt said the best part of this annual campaign is the fact that all of the money brought in stays locally for the local food pantries. “These donations stay right here and help your friends and neighbors. It may be surprising what neighbors rely on that.”
Both Fr. Sivret and McClellan praised the efforts of the volunteers at their respective pantries. “Our volunteers are going over and above,” Fr. Sivret said.