FAQ About Hunger in Maine

Why are people hungry?

Basically, there’s no good reason for people in Maine to go hungry. There’s plenty of food. The problem has always been overcoming the economic and political obstacles that prevent food from reaching those who need it. Ending hunger means solving these more systemic problems while, at the same time, doing everything we can on a daily basis to feed hungry people.

Many people are hungry because they get sick or injured, a spouse or parent dies, or they lose their job or are unable to work. Unfortunately, these bad breaks happen all the time to people in all socio-economic conditions, forcing them to make painful choices like whether to buy food to eat or pay their rent or other living expenses.

Where are people hungry in our region?

People are hungry everywhere in our region. Not one community among all of Maine’s cities and towns is spared. That’s because hunger is as much a problem of working-class and middle-class people as it is a challenge faced by the poor and it’s a problem that affect both rural and urban areas.

Can hunger ever be solved?

Hunger in America can be eliminated. It will take both the public and private sector to join in a determined partnership to address the economic, political, and personal barriers that contribute to hunger. It will require leadership and a broad agreement that everyone has a role to play. In addition to individuals donating food, contributing money and volunteering to support relief organizations and service providers, we can also urge business and political leaders towards greater involvement in solving hunger issues.

How can I help?

There are many ways to help. You can donate money. You can donate food. You can volunteer.

For every dollar you give, Good Shepherd Food Bank can distribute 4 meals to hungry people in Maine. We welcome your donations via check, or online with Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.

The Food Bank also relies on the generosity of over 200 food donors, including supermarkets, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and others. Individuals and organizations also donate food through Food Drives.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Good Shepherd Food Bank helps provide food to more than 36,000 people per week, right here in our state. Volunteers help in many ways, including inspecting, sorting and packing food at our Auburn warehouse. Learn more about volunteering.

How does Good Shepherd Food Bank confront hunger and food insecurity in our community?

This year, the Food Bank will distribute over 13 million pounds of food and grocery products to more than 600 agencies that serve all 16 counties in Maine. Good Shepherd Food Bank is the primary and best source of food for most of these agencies. By partnering with the Food Bank they receive a combined savings of millions of dollars annually! This enables many agencies to stretch their limited operating funds to further extend their services to those in need.

What is the Food Bank service area?

Good Shepherd Food Bank serves all 16 counties in Maine, from Kittery to Fort Kent. We serve 600 nonprofit partner agencies operating on the front lines of hunger relief in our state.

Do people who are hungry go directly to Good Shepherd Food Bank for food?

No. Our partner agencies – including soup kitchens, food pantries, neighborhood centers, and homeless shelters – provide the food and grocery products they receive from the Food Bank to their clients. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people are fed through our partner agencies each month.