26,590 pounds. $76,000 dollars. That’s how much food and money was collected at Gather’s 6th Annual Fill the Hall food drive, held as always at the historic Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth. This year’s food drive had some creative restrictions such as “curbside” donation drop off and social distancing among volunteer staff, but the numbers speak for themselves.
“A successful event like Fill the Hall is built on cooperation – cooperation between nonprofits and the business community and cooperation between volunteers and organizers, all working to match those in need with those with the ability to give,” said Bradford C. Paige, President and CEO of Kennebunk Savings. The bank matched donations, dollar-for-dollar, and in the end put up $7,500 toward Gather’s total received. “It really speaks to a collective sense of community—the way all of the different people and organizations come together year after year like this.”
That community bond was reinforced the day before the event took place – after hearing about Kennebunk Savings’ matching grant on WTSN, Graystone Builders of Strafford NH offered an additional $5,000 of matching funds to keep the giving going.
“Our partnership with Kennebunk Savings is very significant,” said Deb Anthony, Gather’s Executive Director. “They are with us on multiple levels—they give, they volunteer, they speak out for us. And that makes it even more special.”
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the need this year. Gather’s “Meals 4 Kids” program is primarily supported by Fill the Hall and runs through the summer, providing children with the meals they miss when school is not in session. This year, the program was activated 13 weeks earlier than expected, nearly doubling its length. Each donation of $25 supports one week of meals for one child, meaning that the contribution and match from Kennebunk Savings alone amounts to 600 weeks of meals.
About Kennebunk Savings
With assets of $1.25 billion, Kennebunk Savings is a mutually owned, Maine-chartered community banking institution headquartered in Kennebunk, Maine operating 17 branch offices in York County, Maine and seacoast New Hampshire. Kennebunk Savings contributes 10% of its after-tax earnings back to the nonprofit community each year through its Community Promise program. The total commitment of that program has meant nearly $14 million for nonprofits in the community since 1994.