The Bar Harbor Food Pantry was first established as an emergency agency for food in a Sunday School room in the basement of the First Baptist Church.
In March of 1994, Reverend Scott Records called a meeting of representatives from Bar Harbor’s six churches to establish an expanded program of food provision for the community. The Bar Harbor Food Pantry opened it’s doors May 19, 1994, operating in the basement of the First Baptist Church.
In 1996, an interested and enthusiastic volunteer, Marianne Barnicle, came to the forefront of growing our organization. She started serving as a board member, then as our co-director until leading the organization as our Executive Director. She turned our organization into the non-profit agency it is today. She brought a spirit and enthusiasm to the organization that still resonates in its current supporters, volunteers and clients.
Due to increasing numbers of people in need and lack of adequate space for storage, the pantry made a bold move into the basement of the YWCA in January 1999. Volunteers from Church of Our Father and the Congregational Church built shelving and storage space. The BHFP now had the capacity to purchase and store food. This growth allowed us to become a partner agency with Good Shepherd Food Bank (state of Maine’s largest food relief agency). The pantry also was able to qualify for government support of 5 free shipments of food each year from the US Department of Agriculture. The six area churches continued their donations of food, money, and time, and were joined with generous outpouring from the community.
Over the years, the BHFP has been able to grow to offer our clients frozen meats, fresh dairy products, healthy canned goods, bulk sections of grains and beans and fresh produce.