Advocating for Change

Good Shepherd Food Bank is committed to advocating on behalf of Mainers facing hunger.

Together with Feeding America, we are working to ensure that:

  1. Food pantries & meal sites across Maine are well-stocked with nutritious food for the clients who depend on their services.
  2. No child in Maine goes without the nutritious food they need.
  3. Families have a solid foundation because they have reliable access to nutritious food.
  4. Mainers have a place to turn to during hard times.

Based on these priorities, we work to engage policymakers and mobilize the public on behalf of vital hunger relief programs. Federal nutrition programs are a crucial safety net for hundreds of thousands of Maine families.

Hannah Semler of Healthy Acadia heads off to glean spinach at Four Season Farm, Harborside, ME

Lawmakers in Augusta need to hear your voice.

Help us advocate for programs and policies that bring relief to individuals and families struggling to get by. Your voice can, and will, make a difference. Contact your U.S. Congressional Delegates to let them know you support full funding for SNAP (food stamps) and other federal nutrition programs.

Contact your local delegates and tell them that Maine needs strong SNAP, General Assistance, school nutrition, and summer meals programs.

130th Maine State Legislature

Good Shepherd Food Bank advocates to ensure Mainers have access to nutritious food when and where they need it. The Food Bank supports policy proposals that address the short-term challenges of hunger and the mid- and long-term solutions needed to increase food security for all Mainers.

The Food Bank has initially identified the following bills as top priorities to reduce food insecurity in Maine;

  • An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Ending Hunger by 2030 Advisory Group
  • An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Food Processing Infrastructure in Targeted Areas of the State
  • An Act To Address Student Hunger through a Universal Free School Meals Program
  • An Act To Provide Equity in Access to Applications for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program
  • An Act To Ensure That Persons Qualified To Receive Food Assistance Are Able To Receive Full Benefits
  • (Oppose) An Act To Require Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards and Other General Assistance Cards To Be Printed with the Beneficiary’s Photograph

In addition to this list, the Food Bank monitors about 75 additional bill titles. Bills that are determined as the Food Bank’s top advocacy priorities receives the majority of our advocacy capacity, including meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, and other advocacy activities. The Food Bank monitors and may provide a lesser level of support or opposition for a number of other bills. This “tiered” priority approach is determined by asking “does each policy proposal we are tracking, does this end hunger in Maine?

As legislative language becomes available, the Food Bank determines if and how to engage on these bills. Some policy areas relevant to our work have a number of similar bill titles. We work with legislative committees, bill sponsors, and partner organizations to determine which bill(s) emerge as the one for which we will actively advocate in that issue area.

2020-2021 Legislative Priorities

REP. CHELLIE PINGREE

Portrait of Congress Woman Chellie Pingree

REP. JARED GOLDEN

Portrait of Rep Jared Golden

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS

Senator Susan Collins

SEN. ANGUS KING

Senator Angus King Jr.

Advocacy Advisory Council

The Food Bank created the Advocacy Advisory Council in 2022 to support building our advocacy agendas to address root causes of hunger, created in collaboration by an equal partnership of people with lived experience, staff and members from Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Board of Directors, and community organizations.