Grants were made to organizations working closely and primarily with BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee communities.
Good Shepherd Food Bank is pleased to announce the projects funded through its third round of Community Redistribution Fund grant awards. The purpose of the fund is to support grantees’ efforts to increase access to culturally important foods in their communities. The grants are intended for organizations working closely and primarily with BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people and People of Color), immigrant, and refugee communities.
“All projects are focused on building food security in the grantee’s community,” stated Jessica Gildea, program manager for Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Youth and Families Initiatives program. “We received strong applications from organizations throughout the state. Funded projects included Ramadan food access projects, infrastructure for halal meat processing, and food sovereignty initiatives. We’re grateful to our grant committee members who led the decision-making process: Juan Jose Castillo, COVID-19 Support Coordinator for Mano en Mano; Mufalo Chitam, Executive Director of Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition; Fenton Jones, CEO of Boys & Girls of the Border Towns; and Fatuma Hussein, Executive Director of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine.”
A central tenant of the grant-making process was to shift power and decision-making away from the Food Bank to community members and to prioritize efforts led by and primarily serving BIPOC.
- To support immigrant families of the Islamic faith by providing access to culturally specific food and produce during Ramadan
- To support their ACM FEED Program that connects food and resources to the asylee community, helping families navigate life in Maine. Funds will be used to purchase culturally specific foods for distribution
- To support the purchase of culturally appropriate food to be packed and delivered to families in low-income housing complexes in the greater Portland area
- To support the expansion of nutritional access through the sponsorship of the cost of CSA memberships, delivery, and farm vouchers for Black families
- To support a full-time Culinary Mentor to provide access to healthy food service, cooking classes, and distributing culturally relevant foods to Wabanaki youth across four sites in Aroostook county
- To support immigrant families in the Augusta area with vouchers to a local halal market to help them celebrate Ramadan with culturally important foods
- To increase the availability of ethnic foods to community members in Portland, Lewiston and Brunswick, and Bath every other week
- To increase the availability of fresh, high-quality, culturally appropriate food for Cultivating Community’s “New Arrival CSA” program
- To support sustainably raised culturally preferred halal meat to marginalized families and communities
- To support food sovereignty projects that focus on traditionally cultivated foods and distribute traditional foods from Wabanaki producers for distributions through tribal food pantries
- To increase the availability of culturally specific food access to a total of 60 New Mainer families in both the greater Portland and Lewiston areas
- To increase access to culturally important foods for asylum-seeking immigrant families through a community-led initiative in tandem with the inter-faith community and Fresh Food for All African Mobile Market
- To increase access to culturally specific foods for the women and families they work with
- To support the distribution of culturally appropriate meals to the elderly and low-income families
- To provide weekly distributions of culturally relevant foods and access to vouchers at immigrant-owned stores to families
- To support the purchase, assembly, and distribution of non-perishable and culturally-specific food boxes both for families that live year-round in the Downeast region (Western Washington and Eastern Hancock Counties) and for migrant workers who are arriving this month for blueberries and seafood processing
- To offer a separate private space for Wabanaki people to cultivate food and a relationship to the land safely
- To enhance their Pandemic Food Security Program in Lewiston-Auburn by expanding storage and transportation capacity, better access to culturally specific foods and ingredients, relationship building, and more accessible distributions from their site.
- To support the distribution of culturally appropriate foods for families in anticipation of Ramadan and Eid al-fitr, including additional ethnic foods in celebration
- To support weekly food vouchers to elders and families to increase food security during the pandemic
- To support the expansion and building of a Halal slaughter station at SBCA’s Wales farm property to diversify the halal options that Somali Bantu refugees in central Maine can access
- To support the distribution of hot meals during Ramadan to immigrant families, Elders and community members in Lewiston-Auburn
- To support their Ktanaqson project to address community food needs while centering Wabanaki culture and language by purchasing ingredients and creating healthy fry bread kits for families
Grant awards of up to $10,000 were available and priority was given to community-led organizations that are not currently Good Shepherd Food Bank partners, and those led by and primarily serving people of color. The deadline for submissions was Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Use of grant funds could include, but was not limited to, the purchase of food for direct distribution or meal preparation; gift cards/credits to culturally-specific markets; food sovereignty projects; transportation; storage; and distribution costs. Up to 10% of the grant funds may be used for general operating expenses.
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