Dearest MPTC Champion,
My name is Donna Dwyer and I am the CEO of My Place Teen Center, a nonprofit, in Maine.
Like so many, as of mid-March, normal operations at MPTC drastically changed. We knew we had to continue to support our teens and their families, so within 48-hours, we pivoted from our mission, to what we imagined would happen, and did happen, to meet the surging and urgent demand for food and home care – Plan B. Six staff members prepared and delivered over 1,250 homemade, restaurant-quality dinners and 200+ snack/hygiene/household staples kits per week. We became a daily, mobile food pantry for 250 persons per day. We served anyone – kids, the elderly, people without transportation, people with disabilities, people who were immuno-compromised, those who experienced a significant loss of income, etc. – without qualification – via our mobile food pantry and curbside pick-up – any age, from anywhere. We also handed out $7,425 in gift cards from Hannaford/Walmart/Target.
That said, since March 16, we procured, prepared, packed, and delivered close to 22,000 free dinners plus 5,000 snack/hygiene products/pantry staples. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would undertake, or accomplish, such a brazen endeavor – especially since so many things in the outside world were so topsy- turvy. Sadly, also during this time, we lost $300k in longtime, annual funding, which has not yet been recovered. We’ve been hit especially hard, but that never deterred us from our task of helping out where, and when, we could.
But why fresh dinners? Why serve anyone, any age? Why delivery? Why curb-side? Our pandemic philosophy was to support basic needs and to provide comfort, ease, dignity and respect. By not placing any limitations, by allowing for anonymity with curbside pickups, by delivering – to ease lack of transportation issues AND to allow us to provide wellness checks, by offering full, delicious, attractive dinners prepared by a professional Chef with a focus on quality proteins and lots of veggies and fruit – all of this effort was to offer made-from-scratch meals with warmth and care. There’s so much volatility and scarcity inherent in our community/State that we wanted to be a no-barrier, compassionate, dependable, basic needs’ resource via good food and in-person interactions for anyone, any age. In addition, we kept a vigilant watch for potentially dangerous situations as described below.
- More Mainers Struggle to Feed Their Families as Agencies Fear Worst to Come
- Rise in Hunger Should Set Off Alarm Bells
- Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Will Rise During Quarantines. So Will Neglect of At-Risk People.
- Mental Health Crisis Looms
Finally, we continued to think about the kids’ future. And the vitality and health of My Place Teen Center. Securing general operating funds to support feeding the community through the fall/early winter as well as to ensure the Red Doors reopen in September, was tantamount. Thus, we ask you to please consider an unrestricted gift – your support will have far-reaching impact.
As the Portland Press Herald put it, “Teen Center steps up, but needs help.” Read more.
Please take good care,
Yes! I would like to help in this time of need!
Click below to make a tax deductible, unrestricted donation to the MPTC Fund:
Thank you for your generous support!
July and August DOERS
As we wind down our first iteration of our daily mobile/curbside food pantry and homemade meals and morph into a daily curbside food pantry and homemade meals + our regular programming, we wanted to express our deep appreciation, respect, relief, excitement, and love for all your heroic efforts. Please know the vital and dramatic role you played in us serving and delivering 22,000 homemade dinners + 5,000 snack/hygiene/household staples’ kits in the past five months. As we dove headfirst into the food pantry space, we knew it was going to escalate and we knew we were going to serve the entire community – ANYONE ANY AGE. In-kind resources and pandemic funding allowed us to quintuple our initial response, and we THANK YOU profusely for saying YES – over and over and over.
Thanks for demonstrating heart and diligence. Thanks for being there. Thanks for working excessively hard. Thanks for being our friend.
We remain in gratitude to YOU for being an active and committed doer.
Andrew & Pamela Soucy
Grace Manubay & Timothy Ernst
James Eric Heintz
Jeffrey & Lisa Lederer
John & Arlene Lutz
Katherine & Mike Archibald
Lynda & Shawn Adams
Tirumala Devi Maganti
Cornelia Warren Community Association
Community Development Building Grant
DHHS YLA Grant
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
Maine Community Foundation
Maine Health Options
The Eunice Frye Home Foundation
United Way of Greater Portland
Emerald Management Corporation
Central Maine Power Co.
Diamond Landscaping, LLC
Sandra Good @ Fotoshops
New England Chiropractic
Peoples United Bank
Network for Good
Acosta – Jane Reynolds
Bumbleroot Organic Farm
Cooking for Community Maine
Good Shepherd Food Bank
IDEXX Laboratories Inc.
Istanbul Restaurant and Bakery
Mister Bagel in SoPo
Mr. Tuna – Jordan Rubin
Nura Hummus and Falafel Bar – Cameron Gardner
Rosemont Market & Bakery – John Naylor & Cecelia
Stroudwater Food Pantry – Doug Horner
The Baker’s Bench
Union – Josh Berry
Southern Maine Community Organizations Active in Disaster – 3,000 Facemasks
Misty McFarland – wish list items
Lori & Kelsey Theriault – masks & wish list items
Spencer Knarr – food donation
Aľònjandra – food donation
Robbie Sullivan – masks
Anita Johnston – Garden Work & Kitchen Help
Rhonda Green – Garden Work & Kitchen Help
Thomas & Erin Heckel – Garden Work
Judy and Jim Storer – Garden Work