At Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, we are asking the big questions as we continue to grow to meet the needs of Mainers facing hunger.
Climate change affects global food security. It affects every aspect of the agricultural industries and food supply. Severe warming, floods, and droughts reduce yields, livestock faces risks from heat stress from elevated temperatures and reduced quality of their food supply, and fisheries will be affected by changes in water temperatures that enable invasive species to thrive while shifting the lifecycle of certain fish species. These are just a few examples of what the food system faces. The results of the multiple disruptions to our ecosystems threaten food safety and food security.
Our Green Pledge: We are doing our part in mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change. Climate change directly impacts poverty and hunger as it adds to the preexisting circumstances our neighbors currently face.
Our Green Initiatives program substitutes our typical energy systems with efficient green technology systems to decrease our carbon footprint. Our main priority is to be good stewards of our resources.
The Food Bank works with Agri-Cycle Waste Recycling to dispose of non-edible products in a safe, cost-effective manner to save more of our resources to dedicate to our mission of ending hunger in Maine. Our relationship began in 2013, and Agri-Cycle’s system was designed to be energy efficient as it converts food waste into renewable energy and healthy soil. This very easy-to-use system has significantly impacted meeting our energy efficiency and sustainability goals.
Agri-Cycle’s system uses anaerobic digesters and composters that convert food waste into renewable energy and fresh soil. The process is very simple; we place the food waste in specialized totes, then trucks transport the totes to bio tanks located in Exeter, New Hampshire, and that waste is then converted into energy. All packaging is also sent to Agri-Cycle for recycling.
Although the Food Bank has been doing this for years, we are making plans and purchasing equipment to do more of this. Composting challenges for us are de-packaging the food waste within our facility. Food Bank team members are reviewing options to increase this low-cost method of recycling where appropriate.