Waldo County Bounty, a community fundraising and resource-sharing campaign designed to improve food security for all people in Waldo County during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, was launched on May 3. As of May 6, the campaign had raised $8,000 toward the $100,000 initial goal.

The initiative was formed by individuals and organizations in Waldo County to meet immediate, essential food- security needs by directing financial and other resources to the local food system, including hunger-relief programs, farmers and gardeners.

The campaign’s first phase is focused on raising and forwarding financial resources to those who are already positioned and skilled to meet urgent needs, using the following methods:

• Direct purchases from local farms for food pantries and soup kitchens, to be orchestrated by Daybreak Growers Alliance in partnership with Waldo County farmers;

• Funding food pantries and soup kitchens so they can buy nonperishable foods, sanitary items, safety materials, and cleaning supplies and keep up with operating costs;

• Support gleaning through Unity Barn Raisers’ Veggies For All program, which redirects surplus food from farms and food businesses and distributes it through established hunger relief programs; and

• Support gardeners through the activities of Waldo County Cooperative Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and MainersTogether Waldo County, who will disseminate material, educational and coordination resources to improve personal food security and possibly share with their neighbors or donate excess produce to hunger-relief programs.

Those interested in supporting the campaign may send a check to Waldo County Bounty c/o Unity Barn Raisers, P.O. Box 381, Unity, ME 04988 or donate online by visiting waldocountybounty.org. Volunteer opportunities are listed on the website.

For more information, email Sara Trunzo at waldocountybounty@gmail.com.