On Monday, November 20, 2023, local radio stations Coast 93.1, 98.9 WCLZ and 101.9 WPOR joined together for the 18th annual Neighbors in Need Donation Drive fundraiser for Preble Street. More than 400 people and local organizations donated that morning and exceeded the $20,000 goal to raise $29,000 and counting! Donations are still coming in. All proceeds benefit Preble Street Emergency Food Programs, which provides over 1,000,000 meals each year to Mainers experiencing food insecurity and hunger.
If you missed this year’s event, you can catch up here on interviews with volunteers Dennis and Linda, Senator Angus King and Preble Street clients Spencer and Tricia.
“$29,000 is a nice number for five hours of work,” said Portland Radio Group President Phil Zachary,” but what’s so gratifying is the fact Preble Street’s amazing resource optimization can turn those dollars into more than 100,000 meals for our Maine neighbors. It’s a loaves and fishes story that plays out in real life.”
This year, host Kelly Towle from Coast 93.1 and Courtney Ross from 101.9 WPOR also volunteered in the kitchen at the Preble Street Food Security Hub. For five hours, they unpacked food donations that came in over the weekend and chopped apples and onions and portioned meals.
“I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Portland Radio Group and 93.1, 98.9, and 101.9 for their incredible support over the years,” says Preble Street Executive Director, Mark Swann. “This annual fundraiser will help Preble Street provide tens of thousands of meals this year AND raised awareness and educated people about how hunger, homelessness, and poverty impact so many people in our community. We appreciate the partnership that we have built over the years.”
This annual fundraiser began as the Stuff the Bus food drive, hosted by Rewind 100.9 and focused on in-kind food donations that literally filled several school buses and brought in almost 2 million pounds of food to Preble Street. The food drive would conclude with dozens of volunteers unloading thousands of pounds of food at Preble Street. Like many events, in 2020 the drive went virtual with a focus on monetary donations. This year was the first year that Coast 93.1, 98.9 WCLZ, and 101.9 WPOR broadcast together.
The 2023 Neighbors in Need fundraiser was made possible by sponsors Prime Cut Landscaping, Katahdin Trust and Hardy, Wolf and Downing.