Judy’s Pantry is named to honor the memory of Judy Simonds, whose passion was gardening. Judy had been a Cape resident since 1971 before passing away in 2010. The Pantry has been operating in the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church since the summer of 2010.
Produce donations come from several Cape farms and two community gardens in the Cape — one at Gull Crest and the other at Maxwell’s Farm on Spurwink Ave. Both gardens participate in the Maine Harvest for Hunger program. There are two plots at each garden that gardeners take care of and harvest each week for donations to the pantry. Additional donations come from other gardeners’ plots, as well as from some Cape residents.
Several Cape farms donate produce each week, including Jordan’s Farm on Wells Road, Green Spark Farm on Fowler Road, Alewive’s Brook Farm on Old Ocean House Road, and Imelda’s Garden on Spurwink Ave.
Produce from the Community gardens, Imelda’s Garden, Alewives Brook Farm, Green Spark Farm, and Jordan’s Farm are harvested on Mondays and stored in the cooler at Jordan’s Farm before it is picked up on Tuesday’s for the Pantry.
The pantry is helping 25-30 Cape families each week. In addition to the fresh produce, non-perishable items also are available. These items are supplied by:
- Members of the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church
- Resident donations in the Lions Club’s box in the IGA lobby and at the church
Food products also are purchased with funds donated by:
- The Cape Lions Club
- The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary
- Members of the Cape Business Alliance
- And from generous local residents.
Non-perishable items include soups, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, peanut butter, rice, canned tuna and chicken, juices, salad dressings, and canned fruit. Also available some weeks are paper products, cleaning supplies and pet food.
To help decide how best to use the wide selection of fresh produce, recipes are occasionally available when the pantry is open on Tuesday afternoons
The Pantry began offering special selections in 2012 for Thanksgiving. The week before Thanksgiving, special grocery bags, designed by Cape Girl Scout troops, are filled with produce for the holiday, including fresh apples, carrots, onions, squash and potatoes. In addition, bins of Thanksgiving food including stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, gravy, soups, Jello, salad dressings, sparkling cider, and more are available at the pantry, thanks to a Cape food drive organized by Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo. Also available that day are pumpkin and cranberry breads, cranberry chutney and some other holiday treats. A gift certificate for a turkey also is provided.
For every other Tuesday afternoon from late June through Thanksgiving, just under 5,000 pounds of produce are donated to the Pantry from the community gardens, farms, and home gardens. It is from these donations that individuals are able to go home every other week and provide their families with healthy meals.
Thank you to the farmers, gardeners and pantry volunteers who have meant so much to so many!
If you would like to donate non-perishable grocery products to Judy’s Pantry, due to Co-vid 19 restrictions the church building is currently closed to the public. Please call the church to leave a message and someone will get back to you with times when you can drop off your donations.
Thank you for your support and your understanding during these challenging times!