Food Bank Receives Funding From Sandy River Charitable Foundation and Others for 520,000 Pounds of Local Foods
Auburn, ME – Thanks to a $200,000, two-year grant from the Sandy River Charitable Foundation, in addition to several awards from other funders, Good Shepherd Food Bank will be able to purchase 520,000 pounds of local foods to distribute to Maine families facing hunger.
The additional funding awards come from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, the New Balance Foundation, the John Merck Fund, and Nestle, for a total of $340,000.
The funds will support the Food Bank’s Mainers Feeding Mainers program. Through this program, the organization makes bulk purchases from local farmers and food producers and distributes these nutritious, local foods to food pantries, meal sites, and directly to families facing hunger. The Food Bank currently purchases from 25 farms across the state.
The majority of the grant funding will be used to purchase nutritious foods, such as fresh or lightly processed fruits and vegetables, cheese and other dairy products, and frozen fish and meats. These healthy items can be difficult for the Food Bank to acquire through its traditional food donors. Making bulk purchases ensures that the organization’s partner food pantries and meal sites will have ongoing access to nutritious items.
“Fresh, nutritious foods are often the most difficult items for struggling families to access and afford, and this can have serious health consequences,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “These grants provide us with the means to make sure Maine families, no matter what their income or circumstances, have access to the nutritious food they need to live healthy lives. And the funding feeds right back into Maine’s local economy, so it’s really a win-win.”
A portion of the funds from these grant awards will also go toward improving infrastructure capabilities to safely, efficiently and effectively meet the challenges of distributing perishable foods. The Food Bank will improve the cold storage facilities in its Auburn warehouse and will provide several partner agencies with refrigerators and freezers to increase their capacity.
Fifteen percent of Maine households face hunger, according to USDA statistics. It is estimated that one in four Maine children does not get the nutritious food they need to grow and thrive. Good Shepherd Food Bank is committed to providing nutritious food for Mainers facing hunger through its network of partner hunger relief agencies across Maine.
For statistics on hunger and poverty, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara Whitney at (207) 782-3554 x1166 or firstname.lastname@example.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 2013, the Food Bank distributed more than 15 million pounds of food 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.