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A person picking up vegetables
A woman holding a crate of oranges

The Campaign to

End Hunger

in Maine

In 2015, Good Shepherd Food Bank created the Campaign to End Hunger with the intention to give Mainers access to the nutritious food they need to thrive, when and where they need it.

To achieve those aspirations, we set out to raise $250 million in both food and monetary donations to close Maine’s meal gap – the estimated number of meals missing from the plates of Mainers each year.

The statewide campaign led to unique collaborations and unprecedented levels of support that helped build the capacity and scale needed to close Maine’s meal gap for the first time in our history.

Little girl holding her lunch in a brown bag
A bunch of wrapped lettuce

While the campaign concluded in June 2023, it left a lasting impact on people across the state. It also helped lay the foundation in ensuring a food-secure future for all Mainers.

We are incredibly grateful for the generosity and trust that helped us reach this critical milestone. Thank you to the staff, partners, and more than 50,000 donors who made a bold goal a reality.

Read on to learn more about our landmark campaign and your collective impact on the lives of people experiencing hunger across Maine.

Impact at a glance


Meals distributed over the four-year campaign


Pounds of culturally relevant foods provided


Pounds of fresh, Maine-grown produce distributed


Raised in food donations


Monetary funds raised


Granted directly to community partners

Your Investment at Work

Impact Report

The Campaign’s Path

2015: The bold goal was created

Our path to the Campaign to End Hunger in Maine begins after an extensive strategic planning process that would inform our work in the decade to follow. After coming off several years of growth, we wanted to be more proactive in our approach and shift from year-to-year planning to long-term thinking. We went from asking ourselves “what can we do this year based on these resources” to “what does Maine need us to be”? 

So, a bold goal was created, where by 2025 all food insecure Mainers would have access to the nutritious, culturally relevant food they need, when and where they need it. In doing so, it would help stabilize the lives of the people we serve, reduce the impact of hunger in our state, and make Maine a stronger, more resilient place to work and live.

In order to meet the bold goal, we set out to raise $250 million in donated food and funds over the course of the campaign which would require inspiring unprecedented levels of generosity.

A Case to Inspire Generosity

2019-2022: Great strides were made

  • 2019Quiet phase launched
    Campaign feasibility study and quiet phase launched, with Hannaford secured as lead donor. Food distribution increased by more than 30% from 2015, thanks in part to the opening of our Hampden facility.

  • 2020Spike in need was met with unique solutions
    The pandemic hit, causing a focus on short-term solutions to address the urgent, increased need. Unique public-private partnerships were formed, which led to Maine’s lowest rate of hunger in 20 years.

  • 2021Supporters flocked to help their neighbors
    The pandemic sparked unprecedented generosity that allowed us to innovate and adapt during the heightened challenges. We also reached 51,000 donors participating, including a $25M gift from MacKenzie Scott.

  • 2022Meals increased with generosity
    At the halfway point of the campaign, over 80% of the goal was met and we increased distribution to 29M meals, from just over 19M in 2015.

2023: The campaign was concluded

Along with our staff, partners, and generous donors by our side, we successfully built the capacity and scale to close Maine’s meal gap for the first time in our 40+ year history. This resulted in the distribution of a record 33.6M meals to families, children, and older Mainers experiencing hunger – more meals than ever before.

Having met both the monetary and food goals set, in June of 2023, we marked an early, successful finish to the Campaign to End Hunger in Maine.

This success was made possible through the partnership of many, including the more than 50,000 donors who helped raise more than $162 million in donated food and nearly $105 million in funds.

Thank you for helping propel our work to new heights in the fight against hunger!
A woman in red holding a pot of food to share

Our Collective Progress

With your partnership and philanthropic support, we made significant progress on the top priorities and ambitions of the Campaign to End Hunger.

  • Increase access to more nutritious and culturally relevant food – Over $165 million from large-scale food donations and almost $53 million of campaign cash, has been invested in meeting the need for food for today.
  • Advocate and ensure equity – Nearly $9 million dollars has been invested in providing equitable, long-term solutions.
  • Invest in innovative solutions – Nearly $14.5 million was used to invest in innovative solutions.
  • Build a safety net – Over $8 million was used to build a safety net, ensuring we can continue to innovate sustainably in times of diminished resources or increased community needs.

The Road Ahead

Even as we pause to celebrate the successful conclusion of this landmark campaign, people impacted by hunger in Maine face a unique set of challenges as the strain of increased food costs, inflation, and the expiration of pandemic-era public benefits takes their toll.

As a result, we’re seeing a rise in poverty rates and high levels of food insecurity that surpass the early days of the pandemic. Many food pantries and other partners are reporting increased need, especially among populations that are already disproportionately impacted by hunger.

But the Food Bank stands in a position unlike any in our history, thanks to the trust and partnership of many, including more than 50,000 donors like you who helped make the Campaign to End Hunger a success.

Thank you for your partnership in helping us build a scope and scale that once felt nearly impossible. I know that by working together and using the momentum from the success of the campaign, we can end hunger for good.

Two children sharing an apple

Thank you to everyone who helped make the campaign a success!

We’re grateful for your partnership and the network of people, organizations, and corporations, that helped make this possible. Your collective impact has been an honor to witness and is a powerful demonstration of the transformational change we can achieve together.

We’ve accomplished a lot together in the last four years, imagine what we can do in the years to come.

Hannaford Supermarkets logo
In the 42 years since Hannaford Supermarkets helped found the Food Bank with JoAnn Pike, we’ve never seen a need like there is today. Let’s not let another generation pass us by. Let’s end hunger now.
Mike Vail President of Hannaford Supermarkets

Since 1981, Good Shepherd Food Bank has led the fight against hunger in Maine

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Since 1981, Good Shepherd Food Bank has led the fight against hunger in Maine Inset
Michael Thatcher, Charity Navigator
Good Shepherd Food Bank’s coveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high-performing charities. Supporters should feel confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly.
Andrew Silsby, Kennebec Savings Bank
Giving back is at the foundation of what we do – and making this donation, which is designated to agency partners in our service area – is, quite simply, the right thing to do at this moment.
The Ludcke Foundation
The Ludcke Foundation was committed to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s ambitious work prior to the pandemic, and we are proud to be continuing our support as the state of Maine rebounds from the lingering economic impact of COVID-19.
Food Bank News
Under its community-driven strategies approach, Good Shepherd acts as a convener and neutral facilitator, allowing communities to decide how to use Good Shepherd’s funding to close their meal gaps.