Auburn Native’s Matching Gift Pledge Raises $2M for Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Campaign to End Hunger
AUBURN, Maine – An Auburn native and University of Maine graduate challenged Mainers to help fight hunger in the state by pledging one million dollars to match new and increased gifts to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s $250 million Campaign to End Hunger in Maine. The one million dollar matching challenge was successfully met this month, resulting in a total of two million dollars generated to help the Food Bank meet its goal of ensuring every Mainer has access to enough nutritious food, when and where they need it, by 2025. The matching gift was largely achieved through the generosity of donors in Boothbay Harbor.
“Good Shepherd Food Bank is working with more than 500 partners around the state to ensure all Mainers have access to healthy food today, and they have a vision, strategies, and key partnerships in place to address the root causes of hunger and provide long-term solutions,” commented the donor, who prefers to remain anonymous. “Their partnerships with other organizations that are solving housing, healthcare, job training, and financial literacy issues are particularly impressive to me.”
Good Shepherd Food Bank publicly announced the Campaign to End Hunger in January 2021 and endeavors to raise $100 million in cash and pledges and $150 million in donated food before the end of 2025, creating an overall fundraising goal of $250 million. The organization has raised nearly $170 million in food and funds to date.
“We are incredibly grateful for the leadership support from this generous donor who is investing in the future of our state and encouraging others to do the same,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “We’re inspired by the donor’s trust and confidence, and by so many supporters across the state who are rallying to ensure all Mainers have access to enough healthy food, today and in the future.”
The Campaign to End Hunger comes amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which set rates of hunger into a tailspin. Last fiscal year Good Shepherd Food Bank distributed a record-setting 31.6 million meals to an estimated 182,000 Mainers experiencing hunger. Yet, the organization estimates that as many as 40 million meals could be missing from Mainers plates each year, leaving a gap of more than 8 million meals to fill annually. Good Shepherd Food Bank is investing in greater food distribution, as well as longer term solutions.
“We can and will grow our nutritious food distribution to meet the urgent need of Mainers today, just like we did over the past year,” said Miale. Yet, we can also close Maine’s meal gap by advocating for policies and public/private partnerships that strengthen the safety net and address the root causes of hunger and poverty to reduce the demand on food pantries and meal sites across the state. Our work is not done until we have worked ourselves out of business.”
“It’s a harsh reality that when hunger soars, children suffer most,” commented the anonymous donor. “In fact, one in five Maine kids regularly experiences hunger. What is most exciting to me about the Food Bank’s work is that they are investing in longer-term solutions for a hunger-free tomorrow. Young Mainers represent the future of our state, and we can’t afford to let them down.”
Visit www.feedingmaine.org/campaign for more information about the Campaign to End Hunger in Maine.