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Food Banks, Food Pantries and Meal Sites Deemed Essential Service


April 2, 2020

AUBURN, Maine – Good Shepherd Food Bank and its network of 450+ agency partners—including food pantries and meal sites—have been classified as an essential service. As the largest hunger-relief organization in Maine, the Food Bank will remain operational throughout the duration of Governor Mills’ Stay Healthy at Home Mandate.

Good Shepherd Food Bank remains committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees, volunteers, partner agencies, and the thousands of Mainers who rely on the charitable food network each week. The Food Bank has implemented safety protocols and enhanced cleaning processes within its distribution centers. In addition, the Food Bank’s drivers are operating with no-contact protocols when picking up and delivering food.

While each of the Food Bank’s partners is its own nonprofit entity and is responsible for complying with the executive order, the Food Bank is sharing guidance and information to help food pantries and meal programs follow the required physical distancing protocols outlined in the Governor’s order.

This designation of an essential service does not obligate any food pantry or meal program to stay open if it cannot comply with the distancing protocols outlined by the Governor in her Stay Healthy at Home Mandate, and we are encouraging those programs that cannot comply to temporarily suspend services. Currently, the majority of food pantries and meal programs are still operating and have made appropriate changes to comply with safe distancing protocols. Should any food pantry or program make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend its operations, Good Shepherd Food Bank is prepared to work with communities to solve problems related to food access.

To see updated information on our partners’ operations and hours and to learn more about Good Shepherd Food Bank’s COVID-19 response, visit


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 more than 450 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior 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 2019, the Food Bank distributed more than 26 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine.

Jessica Donahue
Marketing and Communications Manager
Good Shepherd Food Bank or (207) 782-3554