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Good Shepherd Food Bank and Mission Possible Teen Center Launch State’s First Kids Café Program

Food Bank Brings Nutritious Meals to Maine’s Vulnerable Youth

Portland, ME – Good Shepherd Food Bank and Mission Possible Teen Center will celebrate the launch of Maine’s first Kids Café program at an open house event at the Teen Center in Westbrook on October 20, 2011 from 4pm – 7pm.  The open house is open to the community and will feature tours directed by the teens, as well as remarks from Tim Higgins, board president of Mission Possible Teen Center, and Rick Small, president and CEO of Good Shepherd Food Bank.

“Our teens are relying on Mission Possible Teen Center now more than ever for a safe place to learn and grow, and for a healthy meal they can count on every evening after school,” says Donna Dwyer, executive director of Mission Possible Teen Center. “We’ve been working hard to improve our facilities, bring new opportunities and activities to our program schedule, and increase the overall quality and nutrition of our meals. We are so excited to show the community the results of this hard work and to introduce new partnerships.”  

Kids Café is a national program offered through members of Feeding America and provides free meals to low-income children as well as offers a safe place where, under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in educational, recreational, and social activities. All Kids Café programs also offer nutrition education throughout the course of the school year. Nationwide, there are over 1,500 Kids Café sites feeding a collective 122,000 children each year.

“What’s unique about the Kids Café program is it focuses on more than just providing meals to children,” says Rick Small, president and CEO of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “In addition to serving nutritious dinners  every day afterschool – a time where food may otherwise be unavailable to many of these teens – we’ll be making sure they have a safe place with adults they can trust to work on homework, learn about healthy life choices, explore new interests, or  just hang out with friends in a wholesome environment.”

The Kids Café Program at Mission Possible Teen Center is made possible through the generosity of Shaw’s Supermarkets.

For more information about the Kids Café program, please contact Shannon Coffin at (207) 782-3554 x 1163 or For statistics on poverty and hunger, media inquiries, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara McConnell at (207) 761-0542 or

About Good Shepherd Food-Bank

 The largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food-Bank provides for those at risk of hunger by soliciting and distributing surplus food to more than 600 partner agencies.  Since 1981, the Food-Bank has partnered with individuals, businesses and farmers to alleviate hunger and build community relationships.  In 2010, the Food-Bank distributed 12 million pounds of food to families and individuals throughout Maine.  Web site:  Phone:  (207) 782-3554. Facebook:  Twitter:

About Mission Possible Teen Center

Mission Possible provides a safe haven for Westbrook youth sustaining them with comfort, meals, resources, and hope. MPTC is rooted in the belief that teens from different backgrounds share the common experience of adolescence and the common need for positive connections. The foundation of its programming is based on supporting resiliency in youth to provide the academic, job readiness, and life skills necessary to lead independent adult lives filled with stewardship, courage, passion, and joy.  Last year, the Teen Center served 475 teens and prepared 4,445 meals.