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January 2020

NEWSLETTER
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
AIO has much to look forward to as we step into 2020 and we are delighted to have you with us. We look forward to continuing to share news about our programs as well as ways for you to get involved and support AIO's work, which in turn helps our collective community.

A top priority and highlight of the year is our new building, which I hope you've been keeping an eye on. As you will read below, the Board of Trustees are hard at work raising funds in order to make this a reality, but we have a ways to go. We hope you will consider supporting this project, so that we can open the new building this year as we hope. We welcome the chance to talk with you, share about the project, and answer any questions you may have.  Thank you.

Liz Jenkins, Board President
New Building Campaign
Great things are underway for AIO in 2020!

AIO turns 30 this year and with this big birthday we want to celebrate by moving into our new building. We are officially in the quiet phase of the capital campaign, with the Board of Trustees working hard to raise the funds needed to make this new building a reality. We hope to open the doors in July; however it all hinges on our ability to raise the necessary funds by June 1.

Our goal is ambitious—$1.2M—but we are confident we can get there with your help and the support of our broader community. We are grateful for the incredible commitments so many have made thus far – bringing us more than halfway there. We have just $381,000 remaining. We need to raise the next $150k by the end of March so we can launch the public phase in April and race to the finish line. Thanks to the generosity of a donor, all new gifts up to $250,000 will be matched
 

We hope that you’ve been watching our progress on the building and are as inspired and excited as we are! We invite you, those closest to us, to learn more about the campaign and to consider making a contribution towards the goal as this is truly a community effort on every level. AIO is grateful to our business partners who have contributed to the campaign thus far, which you will see noted on the new Food Pantry sign: Adventure AdvertisingGartley & DorskyGenesis Community Loan FundGood Shepherd Food BankHarbor BuildersViking Lumber, and ZShaw Architecture
 
We’d love to talk with you and share more about the campaign and what it will mean for our community, as well as learn how you might like to support the campaign. Remember, all new gifts up to $250,000 will be matched, doubling the impact of your giftWe hope your support will be in addition to your annual operating support, not a replacement of it. 

In the words of Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”  We invite you to help make the new AIO Food Pantry a reality, which will make a difference in the lives of our community members who need help.  Thank you.

Please contact Paul Spizzuoco (paul.spizzuoco@ubs.com / 207-542-3330) or Liz Jenkins (boardpresident@aiofoodpantry.org / 617-669-0819) to start the conversation.
Support AIO's Annual Fund Today!
A BIG thank you to everyone who has supported our annual fund thus far! Your incredible generosity has brought us more than halfway towards our goal of $125,000. We are so grateful. Your support has a direct impact on the success of our programs. There’s still time and every gift counts. The more we raise, the more support we can give our clients.
DONATE TODAY
Become a monthly donor to help AIO year-round! 
The 16th Annual Pies on Parade
Read all about the weekend-long Pies on Parade events.  So much happening across the Midcoast - all in support of AIO!

VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED
Our greatest fundraiser for the year, Pies on Parade, happens at the end of this month. Sponsored by the Historic Inns of Rockland, 100% of proceeds from the Pies on Parade fundraiser go to AIO and last year raised $35,000, 11% of our budget!

Volunteers are needed to hand out supplies, serve pies, and help with general organization at the various venues.

Please consider volunteering for a 2-hour shift on:
  • Saturday January 25th in Camden 11:00 - 4:00 for a movie at the Camden Public Library, pie tasting and scavenger hunt at local businesses
  • Sunday, January 26th in Rockland, 1:00 - 4:00 for the 16th Annual Pie Tour.
To volunteer for a 2-hour shift, please contact Diann Henderson at ddhenders@hotmail.com or 207-691-3549
 

ATTEND THE EVENTS
The Historic Inns of Rockland have been producing this event for 16 years and we are VERY grateful to them. It has been expanding over the last few years and has become a three-day event. 

Friday, January 24 6:00-8:00pm Silent Auction, Rock Harbor Brewery  (Route 1, Rockland. The brewery offers tours, drinks (cash bar), and some pie-related food. There will be live music as well—it’s a fun time!


Saturday, January 25 11:00am-4:00pm Scavenger Hunt, Camden.  and a movie at the library. Also pie snacks at various merchants.

Sunday, January 26 1:00-4:00pm Pies on Parade, Rockland.  A number of businesses open their doors to welcome pie eaters by the dozens!  Lots of pie – both savory and sweet.  Lots of people from all over attend this unique and fun event (one family came all the way from Texas!)

It’s a grand event and fun for all ages, but more than that, it’s a HUGE help to AIO and our ability to help feed our neighbors living with food insecurity and who need our help staying warm during these cold winters.

To purchase tickets, click HERE.

Knox County Food Council
There is an enthusiastic and dedicated group of folks in Knox County who are dedicated to making our food systems more efficient for those who provide it, in order to create greater access to food for those who need it. The Knox County Food Council meets monthly to discuss a variety of topics, such as food distribution across the county (and the islands!), and ways to create deeper partnerships, collaboration and alignment among the various food-related organizations in our community. If you are interested in attending and/or receiving the meeting information - agenda, notes, etc. You can sign up by clicking HERE.
Website Redesign

AIO’S WEBSITE REDESIGN UNDERWAY! 

It’s a new year and with it will come a new look for AIO’s website. We are excited to be working with Amy Wilder Files of wilderbydesign on the project. Amy lives and works in Rockland and offers an array of design services- including branding, logos, publications, digital media and signage. We hope to have the new site ready to launch in the early Spring….so stay tuned! 
Food Pantry
The Food Pantry follows a client-choice model where our clients are partnered with a volunteer shopper. Together, they shop our shelves choosing which food items the household would enjoy. 
 
In December, we served
313 Households / 794 Individuals
AIO Food Pantry Hires Eola Ball as New Pantry Director
Please help us welcome to Eola Ball! Eola has been hired to serve as AIO’s part-time Pantry Director and started work earlier this month.  This is AIO’s first employee after 30 years of being a volunteer run organization.  more....
 
Eola can be contacted via email at pantrydirector@aiofoodpantry.org  or by phone at 207-596-1043.
Energy Assistance
The AIO Energy Assistance program provides our clients so much more than just fuel for their furnaces.  We provide 30-minute energy assistance appointments to address immediate needs and to provide referrals and ideas for the household to be more energy efficient.

For the months of November and December we issued:
233 Heating Assistance vouchers ($60,470)
44 Electricity Prevention Vouchers ($8,260)



As part of the Pies on Parade event, would you consider purchasing a gallon of oil for the AIO Energy Assistance program
?   
Every gallon of oil sold at $2.50 per gallon will be matched by Maritime Energy up to $2000. Please consider purchasing several gallons to help reach our goal.
AIO Energy Assistance Welcomes New Coordinator

Rhonda Nordstrom is assuming responsibility for coordinating the AIO Energy Assistance Program.

This program assists clients with emergency fuel and electric shut off notices. 
She will coordinate our team of energy assistance volunteers, and collaborate with area energy efficiency programs.  Rhonda can be reached by email aioenergyassistance@gmail.com

Rhonda comes from a retail background and owned Rheal Day Spa in Rockland. She comes with many skills that are a great asset to this program and AIO.

Thoughts About the Value of Client Appointments for Energy Assistance
From Rhonda Nordstrom

I recently became an energy assistance helper after volunteering as a pantry shopper for a few months last spring and summer. I think it might be helpful to compare my observation of the two different experiences, trying to put myself in the client's position. And it would be great to hear if other volunteers have witnessed what I have.

Last Tuesday, I helped a man negotiate with CMP and reinstate his electricity.  He had an appointment with us to do this, had to wait a minimal amount of time while I finished up with the client before him, and left with a plan and resolution. While with him, I suggested he also take advantage of AIO's food assistance and made him aware of the schedule to do that.

Skip a day ahead to Wednesday morning pantry hours. There he was sitting in a crowded room waiting, and waiting, and waiting, until the fabulous Don was available to take him around and load him up with nutritious items. At one point I greeted him and acknowledged the wait. He mentioned that by having the appointment the day before, he felt more dignified and efficient. 

Child Hunger
The AIO Child Hunger Program provides weekend meals and snacks for schoolchildren in Knox County and Waldoboro.

We are packing roughly 350 food bags weekly for delivery to 16 schools,
as well as serving almost 90 students through the in-school food pantries.

 
GRATITUDE!

December was a month to be thankful for great people who help make programs like these successful. First, a huge thank you to Small Wonder Gallery and Framing in Camden! For three weeks in December, this lovely shop was a drop-off location for a Snacks for Backpacks food drive. As a result, we managed to send a variety of granola bars in weekend backpacks last week. They also hosted one of our donation boxes during that time. Thank you Small Wonder!

Also in December, we sent home some lovely warm cozy socks to our younger participants. Have you heard of Bombas? When you purchase a pair Bombas socks, they will donate a pair, and we got some! Thank you to Bombas as well.


And of course, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who keep the program running at all! We couldn't do it without you!

Are you interested in volunteering with the Child Hunger Program?  Sign up on our volunteer website and we will be in touch soon!
Get More Involved With AIO
 AIO would not be able to serve our community in all the ways described in this newsletter if not for the hard work of our volunteers.  Thank you all so much!

There are numerous ways to get involved with AIO -  
Please visit our Volunteer website for more details.  
Thank you for your generosity to our clients and our community!
AIO Food Pantry
Mailing Address:    ​P.O. Box 113, Rockland, ME  04841        
Phone:    (207) 596-1043
Email:   email@aiofoodpantry.org​​


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