AIO Food & Energy Assistance has partnered with Knox County Homeless Coalition 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.

An AIO Food & Energy Assistance location

“We are excited for this juncture of community collaboration. KCHC and AIO have worked closely for many years while supporting common community missions,” said KCHC Director of Social Services Molly Feeney. “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.”

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 10 people living in Knox County is food insecure. For children, this number is estimated to be higher, rising to a staggering 20%, with 1/5 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.”