Skip to content

Community Redistribution Fund Grants Awards

Grants were made to organizations working closely and primarily with BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people and People of Color), immigrant, and refugee communities.

Good Shepherd Food Bank is pleased to announce the recipients of its Community Redistribution Fund grant awards. The purpose of the fund is to support grantees’ efforts to source and distribute culturally-specific and relevant foods to community members in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 grants 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. “Grassroots, community-led organizations and coalitions were strongly encouraged to apply. We received an overwhelming number of applications and supported as many as possible. Funded initiatives included a wide variety of projects, including direct distribution of food, creating food pantries, building greenhouses to grow community food, and providing clean drinking water.”

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.

“The long-term goal of the Community Redistribution Fund is to transfer decision-making power to the grantees using a community-led grant-making model,” Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank added. “We are grateful to Mufalo Chitam, executive director of the Maine Immigrants’ Resource Center, and Fatuma Hussein, founder and executive director of United Somali Women of Maine, who led the selection committee through the decision-making process.”

Award list:

United Youth Empowerment Services & Masjid Al Salaam, Lewiston

  • To support a new food pantry at Masjid Al Salaam on Bartlett Street

Golden Opportunity, Lewiston/Auburn

  • To support the distribution of culturally relevant food to elderly and disabled Somali community members

Capital Area New Mainers Project, Augusta/Central Maine

  • To support the distribution of Eid boxes

Isuken Co-op, Lewiston

  • To support the distribution of prepared meals during Ramadan

Mano en Mano, Downeast

  • To support the distribution of culturally-specific boxes of food both for families that live year-round in the region and for single migrant workers who are arriving in May for blueberries and seafood processing

Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, Washington County

  • To increase the availability of culturally-relevant foods for community members reliant on the food pantry

Eastern Woodlands Rematriation, Wabanaki communities, Northern Maine

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

Wabanaki Public Health, Wabanaki communities, Northern Maine

  • To support the distribution of fresh foods and clean water to tribal communities without clean drinking water

Micmac Farms, Micmac communities, Aroostook County

  • To support the distribution of Food Sovereignty boxes, filled with foods produced by Native American producers, to families within the Arookstook Band of Micmacs

Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, Washington County

  • To support the construction of a greenhouse used to grow culturally-specific foods for community members

Boys & Girls Clubs of Border Towns, Aroostook and Washington Counties

  • To support the preparation and distribution of traditional Sipayik & Maliseet meals to youth and families

In Her Presence, Cumberland County

  • To support the distribution of culturally relevant food to immigrant women and children

Cumberland County Food Security Council, Cumberland County/statewide

  • To support the production and processing of Maine-raised halal meat at Ummah Farm in Turner.

South Sudanese Community Association, statewide

  • To support the distribution and delivery of culturally relevant foods to elders in the South Sudanese community statewide

Presente Maine, statewide

  • To support The Food Brigade, which distributes fresh foods straight to Latinx community members statewide who are most vulnerable, least connected, least resourced, and at highest risk

New England Arab American Organization, statewide

  • To support the purchase and delivery of Halal meats and other foods for Middle Eastern and Northern African community members in Cumberland County, Biddeford, and Augusta

Congolese Community of Maine, statewide

  • To support the distribution of culturally specific foods sourced from immigrant-owned businesses to Congolese community members statewide

Angolan Community of Maine (ACM), statewide

  • To support the purchase and delivery of culturally relevant foods from locally owned businesses, to community members in Greater Portland, Mid Coast, and Androscoggin counties

Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Community Redistribution Fund is committed to the redistribution of power and transparent processes from start to finish, centering the experiences of the grantees and their communities as we move forward.

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 Thursday, May 14, 2020. 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.

Photos from Mano en Mano | Hand in Hand, who worked with Good Shepherd Food Bank partner Maine Seacoast Mission, to purchase food through a local restaurant, Vazquez Mexican Restaurant, to pack over 100 boxes filled with beans, rice, peppers, tortillas, nopales, meat and produce for Latinx community members. Vazquez Mexican Takeout