ELLSWORTH — The 12th annual Hancock County Food Drive will kick off with a county-wide food collection and fundraising event on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep an eye out for food drive volunteers, dressed in fruit and vegetable costumes, who will be stationed outside twelve grocery stores across the county to collect food donations, raise funds, and rally excitement for the food drive, which runs through April 30. 

The Hancock County Food Drive is an annual collaborative campaign that raises funds and food donations for local food pantries, meal sites, and school backpack programs. This year 19 partner organizations are collaborating to raise $50,000, which will provide 150,000 meals for Hancock County residents.

In addition to the kick-off event on April 1, the food drive is hosting the Read-a-Thon, a fundraising challenge for K-8 readers to secure pledges for every minute they spend reading during the month, and the Miles for Meals challenge for walkers, runners, hikers, bicyclists, and swimmers of all ages and abilities to raise funds for each mile covered from April 15-23. Other events will include a pancake breakfast, a food-themed storytelling event, and an outdoor movie screening. Additionally, community members are encouraged to organize their own events, which can be registered through the website, in addition to donation and participation links.

Thanks to the generosity of Maine Community Foundation and Tradewinds of Blue Hill, the food drive has already raised $11,000.

For more information about these events and how to contribute to the Hancock County Food Drive, visit www.hcfooddrive.org or contact Rachel Emus at Rachel@HealthyAcadia.org