Cumberland County 4-H Members’ Community Service Project Helps the Local Food System

By Sara Conant, UMaine Extension Staff, 4-H Community Education Assistant

Cumberland County 4-H members Adam Dale, Caleb McGrath-Holmquist, and Katie McGrath-Holmquist are raising funds to purchase four market hogs and two market lambs from the Cumberland Fair 4-H Livestock Auction on Wednesday September 28, 2016 at 4:00 P.M. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, 197 Blanchard Road in Cumberland, Maine to donate to the Gray and New Gloucester Food Pantries.

Adam, Caleb, and Katie are all long-time members of the Cumberland County 4-H Sheep club and the 4-H Swiners, who raise market hogs and lambs to be sold annually at the Cumberland Fair 4-H Livestock Auction. This year in addition to raising their own animals and soliciting buyers for those animals, the trio is also participating in their self-designed community service project that will benefit both 4-H’ers and their local food pantries. They would like to raise enough money so that the Gray and New Gloucester Food Pantries can purchase four market hogs and two market lambs at the 4-H Auction. In order to reach this goal Adam, Caleb, and Katie are hoping to raise $5,000 from the community by September 28, 2016. So far the trio have raised 1/5 of the money needed.

The Gray Community Food Pantry serves 40-70 families with emergency and home deliveries. Approximately 15% of the clients are elderly seniors living on a fixed income and 30% are children. The New Gloucester Food Pantry provides food for an average of 22 families each distribution day. Over the course of a year, 60-70 families are served. Since meat is one of the more expensive items for clients to buy, having fresh pork and lamb available from local sources is a win-win-win for these food pantries, 4-H members, and the local food system.

Donations of any amount can be sent to UMaine Extension Cumberland County, Attn: Sara Conant, 75 Clearwater Dr. Ste. 104, Falmouth, ME 04105. Checks can be made payable to: GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project.

For more information call 207.781.6099 or email