New nest box for BrownieLast year when our chickens started laying, we quickly realized that a dozen hens lay enough eggs in one day to last us almost a week. We started selling extra eggs to friends and neighbors who appreciated farm fresh eggs. One week, overrun with eggs, Paul called the local food pantry and asked if they accepted egg donations. The answer was yes, and so started our relationship with the Downeast Food Pantry in Cherryfield, Maine. It turns out that the food pantry has very little protein rich food to offer families, so they were very happy to receive the eggs.

Paul takes extra chicken and duck eggs over on a weekly basis and is known as the “Egg Man.” At one point we couldn’t deliver eggs because we had run out of the used egg cartons we had saved and collected from friends. When the word about this got out, community members began recycling their egg cartons at the food pantry. Each week Paul drops off eggs he picks up more egg cartons.

The duck eggs seemed to baffle all but the elderly. The seniors reminisced with Paul about the joys of eating duck eggs as children. The younger folks whose only knowledge of eggs comes from the grocery dairy section asked questions like: You can eat duck eggs? What do you do with them? How do you cook them? In general, they seemed a bit skeptical. Our donations are teaching a new generation about farm staple.

Since we started donating eggs, a couple of other locals have begun donating as well. It feels good to know that we’re helping to provide families with nourishment. There so many who find it challenging to food on their table. At the same time, charitable giving is down and food pantries are suffering. Our food pantry has had to place limits on what they can offer to families to ensure that all needy families have some food.

If you have chickens or ducks, consider donating eggs to your local food pantry this holiday season and year round. Your contribution is an in-kind donation and is tax deductible.

Chicken Little in the GardenIf you are not lucky enough to have chickens and ducks running around your yard and invading your garden, consider a cash donation to your local food pantry. Food pantries purchase items from food banks at lower prices than you can, so your donation goes further.

If you’d like to donate to the Downeast Food Pantry, click here for their web site, or send your donation to: Downeast Food Pantry, 7 Weald Bethel Lane, Cherryfield, ME 04622.

No American should ever have to go hungry!

donating eggs to the food pantry