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Community Redistribution Fund Grants Awards

Community Redistribution Fund Grants Awards

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.

Award list:

AK Health and Social Services

  • To support immigrant families of the Islamic faith by providing access to culturally specific food and produce during Ramadan

Angolan Community of Maine

  • 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

Azerbaijan Society of Maine

  • 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

Black Owned Maine

  • To support the expansion of nutritional access through the sponsorship of the cost of CSA memberships, delivery, and farm vouchers for Black families

Boys and Girls Clubs of Border Towns Presque Isle

  • 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

Capital Area New Mainers Project

  • To support immigrant families in the Augusta area with vouchers to a local halal market to help them celebrate Ramadan with culturally important foods

Congolese Community of Maine

  • To increase the availability of ethnic foods to community members in Portland, Lewiston and Brunswick, and Bath every other week

Cultivating Community

  • To increase the availability of fresh, high-quality, culturally appropriate food for Cultivating Community’s “New Arrival CSA” program

Cumberland County Food Security Council: Ummah Farms

  • To support sustainably raised culturally preferred halal meat to marginalized families and communities

Eastern Woodlands Rematriation

  • To support food sovereignty projects that focus on traditionally cultivated foods and distribute traditional foods from Wabanaki producers for distributions through tribal food pantries

Gateway Community Services Maine

  • 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

Greater Portland Family Promise

  • 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

In Her Presence

  • To increase access to culturally specific foods for the women and families they work with

Isuken Coop

  • To support the distribution of culturally appropriate meals to the elderly and low-income families

Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services

  • To provide weekly distributions of culturally relevant foods and access to vouchers at immigrant-owned stores to families

Mano en Mano

  • 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

Mawita’nej Epij’ij

  • To offer a separate private space for Wabanaki people to cultivate food and a relationship to the land safely

Multicultural Community and Family Support Services

  • 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.

New England Arab American Organization

  • To support the distribution of culturally appropriate foods for families in anticipation of Ramadan and Eid al-fitr, including additional ethnic foods in celebration

Passamaquoddy Tribe – Indian Township

  • To support weekly food vouchers to elders and families to increase food security during the pandemic

Somali Bantu Community Association

  • 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

Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization

  • To support the distribution of hot meals during Ramadan to immigrant families, Elders and community members in Lewiston-Auburn

Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness

  • 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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