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Good Shepherd Food Bank Receives two Walmart Foundation Grants to Build Retail Infrastructure and Food Safety Capacity

AUBURN, ME (Sept. 28, 2015) – Good Shepherd Food Bank today announced two grants from the Walmart Foundation, totaling more than $70,000, to fund retail infrastructure that will help secure and distribute more nutritious food for families in need and food safety improvements. The grants will support investments in the equipment necessary to handle perishable products including coolers and freezers for transporting, storing and distributing food, thermometers and temperature calibration devices, among other items.

Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has invested in more than 170 refrigerated vehicles so that Feeding America member food banks and their partner agencies can get more food to people struggling with hunger. This year, the Walmart Foundation expanded the scope of the grant to offer a broader variety of equipment options that will meet the needs of more food banks and agencies.

“The Walmart Foundation has been a tremendous partner in helping us design strategies that help us serve more people with nutritious food,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “This grant will go a long way in helping the Food Bank expand our capacity to serve children and families struggling with hunger in Maine.”

Good Shepherd Food Bank secures fresh, perishable food from retailers across the state. The Walmart Foundation has been instrumental in helping build the capacity of food banks to rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the United States in a sustainable, cost-effective way. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to Feeding America and its nationwide member network of 200 food banks. This works aligns with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. It includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. over the next five years.

With food insecurity remaining high throughout the country, the ability to distribute more food is critical for food banks. According to the USDA, about 49 million people – including 16 million children – in the United States are food insecure, which means at some point during the year, they won’t know where their next meal will come from. In Maine, 16.2 percent of residents are food insecure.