AIO Food & Energy Assistance (AIO) has partnered with Knox County Homeless Coalition (KCHC) to administer food pantry services to KCHC clients. Previously, KCHC ran their own food pantry from their Rockport campus for the nearly 650 people in their care. KCHC will continue to support their clients with outbound deliveries and transportation barriers that might exist.
“We are excited for this juncture of community collaboration. KCHC and AIO have worked closely for many years while supporting common community missions. The AIO team has welcomed KCHC staff and families with open arms and we are excited to work together to reach even more humans with food, dignity, and respect. Knox County and the state at large are experiencing unprecedented levels of need; this is the time for communities to come together and model both true collaboration, and consolidate efforts for efficiency and ease of access,” said KCHC Director of Social Services Molly Feeney.
According to Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine is first in New England in terms of food insecurity with 86% of the counties with the highest percentage of children at risk for food insecurity being rural. More than one in ten people living in Knox County is food insecure. For children, this number is estimated to be higher, rising to a staggering 20%, with one fifth of the children living in Knox County experiencing food insecurity on a daily basis.
“Addressing the root causes of food insecurity is critical. The challenges many Knox County families face are the collective pressure of the high costs of housing, heating, healthcare, food and other living expenses,” said AIO Executive Director Joe Ryan. “Together, KCHC and AIO can improve the quality of the programs we provide and have a greater impact for people who need our help.”
Founded in 2014, KCHC is the only comprehensive homeless services organization serving Knox County, as well as parts of Waldo and Lincoln counties. In collaboration with State and local partners, the organization works to ensure that all families and individuals have the opportunity for stable housing and a sustainable, productive life. Hospitality House and The Landing Place are programs of Knox County Homeless Coalition.
AIO Food & Energy Assistance (AIO) was established in 1990 in Rockland, Maine, by area congregations, as one convenient place where people in need can go for nourishing food or energy assistance within Knox County. The founders recognized that there were many people in the community who needed help. AIO is continuing a long tradition of outreach to those in need with its dedication to supporting the community.
Photo caption: AIO Executive Director Joe Ryan and KCHC Director of Social Services Molly Feeney