AIO Food and Energy Assistance is hosting its first FILL THE STRAND food and funds drive to benefit AIO’s Food Assistance, Energy Assistance and Weekend Meal Programs. In partnership with the Strand Theatre and Allen Insurance and Financial, this event challenges the community to fill every seat in the historic theater with bags of food and funds for AIO’s programs. AIO was inspired by GatherNH, who has held a successful Fill the Hall event in Portsmouth, NH at the Music Hall and who provided guidance to AIO.
Coordinators would like to encourage community organizations, businesses, and residents to do food and fund drives within their groups, workplaces, and neighborhoods to help with the drive. As of Friday, Jan. 15, $12,000 has been raised in support of the event; food items will be sorted and weighed on Monday, Jan. 18. Donations will be accepted at The Strand in Rockland that day, with all COVID protocols followed.
Non-perishable food with a current expiration date is appreciated (no glass please). Most needed items include:
- ready rice pouches
- macaroni and cheese and pasta
- cereal & oatmeal
- pop-top canned foods and Chef Boyardee meals
- single serving lunch items
- 100% juice boxes, shelf stable milk, powdered milk
- kid-friendly snacks (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, 6-pack raisins)
Whether a monetary gift or food donation – your support will help the people in our community who need it the most.
Due to COVID-19 the majority of the food and funds collection will take place in the weeks leading up to Jan. 18. Food collection sites have been established at area businesses, including:
- Allen Insurance & Financial offices (Rockland and Camden)
- Main Street Markets (Rockland)
- AIO Food and Energy Assistance (Rockland)
On Jan. 18 volunteers will be at the Strand Theatre between 9:00-2:00pm to receive food and funds donations—curbside—to limit the number of people inside the Strand Theatre itself.
Monetary donations are welcome – and in fact your dollar goes further since AIO can purchase food through partners at a competitive price. Individuals can sponsor a bag at $25, which will fill one seat in the theater. Those interested in sponsoring a bag through a financial donation can make it online.