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Stories from the Road: “Meating” the need for protein

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 a generous and unique donation from Jim Schmidt, president of Alexander & Schmidt in Yarmouth, Maine.


Each year, Jim Schmidt purchases market livestock, steer, pig and sheep at the Cumberland Fair 4-H auction. He typically has the meat processed at the Windham Butcher Shop and frozen to give half to his employees and half to local food pantries. The meat has been donated to the Yarmouth Food Pantry and the Richmond Area Food Pantry. He sees this as a dual benefit; it’s helping the kids in 4-H raise livestock and practice business principles while helping feed Mainers in need.

Seeing the increased need due to the pandemic

This year due to the pandemic, Alexander & Schmidt’s employees are working remotely but Jim still wanted to give back and decided that it would be beneficial to address food insecurity throughout the state by donating 100% of the meat to Good Shepherd Food Bank.

“I’ve seen food insecurity first hand. For the first few months of the pandemic, I did volunteer deliveries for the Harrison Food Pantry and helped distribute food boxes to recipients on the end of dirt roads in rural Maine towns like Harrison, Casco, and Naples. There’s a real serious food insecurity problem out there, and it was never more clear to me than when I was doing those food deliveries. It seemed like an important direction to go this year to give this meat to Good Shepherd Food Bank. I like doing it. It’s a great way to help Maine people,” stated Schmidt.

Schmidt plans on continuing his meat donation for years to come.

Giving thanks for protein

Food Banks only receive enough protein to represent 1 percent of their total distribution. It’s a fact that animal protein products and other grocery items high in protein are donated less frequently than other items like snacks and cereal. Animal protein is more expensive to produce and buy than most other foods, resulting in less being donated, making Schmidt’s generosity to Good Shepherd Food Bank that much more remarkable.

There are many ways to give.

If you are looking to make a difference in the lives of Mainers experiencing hunger, consider donating, volunteering or hosting a Virtual Food Drive today!