Food Bank Helps Feed More Mainers in Need Thanks to $24,000 Grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation
Funding will support capacity building at local partner agencies
Auburn, ME (September 21, 2015) – Good Shepherd Food Bank has been awarded a $24,000 grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation to support agency capacity building and provide more meals for the 200,000 Mainers who struggle with hunger.
The Food Bank will use this funding to support 13 different local agencies across the state with improved technology, refrigeration, kitchen equipment, shelving and storage, and transportation. With these capacity needs met, these local agencies will be able to distribute more meals to community members in need.
After helping to expand capacity in 2014 for more than 400 pantries and feeding programs nationally, which resulted in over 10 million more pounds of food being donated, BJ’s Charitable Foundation will invest additional funding this year to further prevent a bottleneck in the supply chain for food distribution to Americans facing hunger.
This will be the second agency capacity building grant awarded to Good Shepherd Food Bank, which works with local agencies (food pantries, shelters and meal programs) that distribute groceries and meals to the 1 in 7 residents who struggle with hunger. Those same local hunger agencies, however, are often limited by a lack of equipment to move donations and provide safe storage for perishable items. Many agencies also encounter limited staff availability and training to support more high-functioning operations. The BJ’s Charitable Foundation grant will help those local agencies safely pick up more donated product from local supporters and distribute more perishable foods to community members in need – a crucial component in the fight to solve hunger.
“We collaborate with our partner agencies to get food to our neighbors in need on a daily basis, they’re often the final stage within our network to reach individuals who struggle with hunger,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “With this grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation, we are able to continue to address what we can do to help enable these organizations to be more efficient and effective, and in turn help more people facing hunger.”
BJ’s Wholesale Clubs has supported the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks since 2011. Each of their 208 clubs has contributed perishable food totaling nearly 35 million pounds, which is the equivalent of 28 million meals.
“At BJ’s, we’re always looking for new ways to partner with food banks and local organizations to help solve hunger in our communities,” said Local BJ’s Spokesperson. “Through this grant, equipment from refrigerated vehicles to coolers as well as food safety training and other costs related to agency success will result in more nutritious food getting to the people who need it most.”
BJ’s Wholesale Club distributed grants to 20 additional Feeding America® food banks to enhance these organizations’ agency capacity building. Each agency capacity grant provided by BJ’s Charitable Foundation will be supplied in September, in honor of Hunger Action MonthTM. Throughout Hunger Action Month, Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Feeding America nation-wide network of food banks rally the country to engage in the fight to end hunger in America. Learn more about Hunger Action Month and how you can get involved at www.hungeractionmonth.org.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
As the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to 600 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, and youth programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. In 2014, the Food Bank distributed 17.5 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine. Website: www.feedingmaine.org; Phone: (207) 782-3554; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.
About BJ’s Wholesale Club
Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ’s is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 208 clubs in 15 states.
BJ’s provides a one-stop shopping destination filled with more top-quality, leading brands including its exclusive Wellsley Farms and Berkley Jensen brands, which are all backed by BJ’s 100% money-back guarantee; more fresh foods from USDA Choice meats to premium produce to delicious organics in many supermarket sizes; and more great value and amazing savings every day. BJ’s is also the only membership club to accept all manufacturers’ coupons and for greater convenience offers the most payment options.
Giving back has always been at the very core of BJ’s culture. Through local clubs, volunteerism, BJ’s Feeding Communities, Adopt-A-School Program, BJ’s Charitable Foundation, and many more, the company supports and enhances programs that provide vital services within each community it serves. To learn more, visit www.bjs.com.
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About BJ’s Charitable Foundation®
BJ’s Charitable Foundation was established with the mission to enrich every community BJ’s Wholesale Clubs serve. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that primarily benefit the underprivileged in the areas of hunger prevention and education. For more information about BJ’s Charitable Foundation, please visit, www.bjs.com/charity.