Good Shepherd Food Bank’s work is made possible through collaborative efforts of donors, staff, volunteers, our partner network, and more. Today, we’re showcasing our unique summer partnership with Camp Susan Curtis.
Partnering to Provide Nutritious Meals to Maine Summer Campers
The partnership with Camp Susan Curtis, a summer camp in Stoneham, Maine, began in the summer of 2018. For nearly 50 years, Camp Susan Curtis as a program of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation, has helped economically disadvantaged Maine children develop the individual character, self-confidence, and skills essential to thrive. One way of accomplishing their mission is by maximizing collaborative relationships with organizations, like ours, Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Our agency resources manager and the Food Bank team saw an opportunity to work with Camp Susan Curtis to be an access point for children to have fresh food when they head home from camp. This was the start of a strong relationship to combine missions to address a solution for food insecurity.
Before the pandemic
For the last several summers, Good Shepherd Food Bank has coordinated four annual distributions at summer camp, two in July and two in August, with Terri Mulks, the camp director. Distributions strategically happen when campers are headed home. As parents arrive to pick up their children, they’re given a food box packed with fresh produce, and campers being bussed home were provided with a bag of food.
COVID-19: pivoting to continue providing campers access to nutritious food
Due to COVID-19, this summer’s distribution operated differently. With the same mission and will to provide campers with food to take home, Camp Susan Curtis pivoted to a drive-thru check-out and loaded each camper’s car with a box of produce and one or two shelf-stable bags of food depending on the family size. Instead of four distributions, Good Shepherd Food Bank managed three, distributing 1,888 pounds of food to 119 campers from 12 of the 16 counties in Maine. Camp Susan Curtis was impressed with the amount of food provided and the fresh produce.
Fresh veggies make all the difference
“Thank you so much for your continued partnership this summer. It means so much that you prioritized our campers and families when you are experiencing such significant demand across the state. To this end, Terri and I wanted to share with you this wonderful note of thanks and the attached photo we received from a Portland parent,” stated Kathryn Pierce, Executive Director of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation.
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