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AUBURN, Maine – Today, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott published a list of non-profit organizations across the United States that she has selected for charitable investments. Good Shepherd Food Bank is honored and proud to be included in this list of gift recipients.

“We are quickly convening our board of directors, leadership team, and other stakeholders, and working hard to ensure that the philanthropy entrusted to us will help more Mainers access more nutritious food equitably and efficiently—now during the crisis of COVID-19, and for the long term,” said Good Shepherd Food Bank President Kristen Miale.

The Food Bank expects to receive its gift from MacKenzie Scott early in 2021 and plans to share details about the gift and how it will be invested across Maine’s charitable food network at that time.

“MacKenzie Scott’s investment in Maine is a vote of confidence in the work we are all doing together to end hunger in our great state,” Miale continued. “From our more than 500 community partners and our food donors, to all the individuals, businesses, and foundations that support us with financial contributions at every level—we should all feel proud to receive this national and international recognition.”

“The philanthropic investment from MacKenzie Scott will be an accelerator and amplifier as we work toward the goal of ending hunger in Maine, but the problem is bigger than what any one philanthropist can solve,” said Miale. “Ending hunger and its devastating effects in our great state is within our reach when we all come together and contribute to the solution. With this investment and the continued generosity of all Mainers, together we can end hunger.”

This announcement comes as Maine is in the midst of an unprecedented hunger crisis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine had the 12th highest food insecurity rate in the nation with 180,000 Mainers relying on Good Shepherd Food Bank and its statewide network of partners. Today, that number approaches 215,000 people, at least 60,000 of whom are children, with households of color experiencing disproportionately higher rates of hunger.

Based on data from Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., Good Shepherd Food Bank estimates that there are around 13 million meals missing from the plates of Mainers this year, on top of the 27.2 million meals the Food Bank and its partners are currently providing. The organization aims to close this meal gap by 2025.

Good Shepherd Food Bank recently published data demonstrating the impact of its network’s work in the past year. Despite significant food sourcing challenges during the height of the pandemic, the Food Bank distributed two million more meals year-over-year while increasing the amount of locally grown and produced food by 25 percent. To help bolster the statewide effort, the Food Bank granted more than one million dollars to food pantries, meal sites, schools, and other partners across the state—including grants to organizations led by and serving communities of color for sourcing culturally relevant food.

For more information, please visit feedingmaine.org.