Good Shepherd Food Bank Secures More Than $1 Million in Grants for Major Facility Upgrades
Organization plans for increased storage and distribution of fresh produce in Auburn warehouse
Auburn, ME – Good Shepherd Food Bank has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Next Generation Foundation of Maine for upgrades to the organization’s Auburn distribution center. The Food Bank plans to construct a modern, 115,000 cubic foot produce storage facility, with multiple zones for varying temperatures and humidity levels.
“We’re a food bank, but we want to focus on becoming the nutrition bank for the state of Maine,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “By working to acquire and distribute more nutritious, perishable food, we can help contribute to a healthier future for the state.”
The project will also include upgrades to the Food Bank’s current refrigeration systems and roof.
The upgraded facility will allow the Food Bank to store fresh produce in optimal conditions for year-round distribution. The Food Bank receives approximately 3 million pounds of fresh produce a year from retail donors. The organization also works closely with Maine farmers to acquire local produce.
In 2014, Good Shepherd Food Bank worked with 30 Maine farms and purchased just over 1 million pounds of locally grown vegetables and fruits for distribution to its statewide network of partner agencies. The farms donated an additional 1 million pounds, meaning the Food Bank was able to distribute more than 2 million pounds of Maine-grown products to food pantries and meal sites across the state.
“The sophistication of the Good Shepherd distribution center, and the work being done there, cannot be fully appreciated without seeing it firsthand,” said the Next Generation Foundation Trustees. “We are thrilled to support upgrades that will make the facility even better. Incorporating donated food and volunteer labor to help carry out its mission to feed the hungry, Good Shepherd is a fine example of Maine’s tradition of neighbors taking care of neighbors.”
In addition to the funding from Next Generation Foundation, the Food Bank was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry and is working to secure an additional $200,000 in labor and additional donations. Total project cost is estimated to be $1,250,000.
The facility upgrades will result in cost savings for the Food Bank in the form of lowered heating and electricity expenses. The organization expects to save approximately $38,000 annually. The Food Bank plans to complete its cold storage facility upgrades by the end of 2015.
For statistics on hunger and poverty, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara Whitney at email@example.com or (207) 782-3445 ext. 1166.
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 more than 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.