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Why eliminating food insecurity in Maine is good for business

What do an engineering firm, a bank, a utility company, and a car dealership have in common?

CES, Inc., Machias Savings Bank, Emera Maine and Darling’s are all strong advocates of the work of Good Shepherd Food Bank and have each made generous donations to our Food For All Campaign. While these companies are engaged in dramatically different industries, they all support our mission for the same reason:

Eliminating food insecurity in Maine isn’t just a kind thing to do, it’s a smart business decision.

CES, Inc. is a rapidly growing engineering, environmental science and surveying company with offices in Brewer, Bar Harbor, Machias, Presque Isle, Waterville, Lewiston, and Saco. “As an employer and growing business, CES, Inc. understands that we must have a healthy population to fill the jobs we create for all of our long-term prosperity,” CES President and CEO Denis St. Peter says. “Supporting an organization that provides a basic necessity such as healthy food — to children and families also addresses many of the issues that CES, Inc. values and wants to see improved.”

Hampden Cold Storage Photo
Under construction: Hampden’s cold storage units.

CES is so committed to providing children and adolescents with the nutritious food they need to reach their full potential, their senior management chose to make a leadership gift to the campaign to help fund the needed cold storage in our new 40,000 square foot distribution center in Hampden. This facility will enable us to deliver more food more often to northern, central, and Downeast Maine while freeing up bandwidth in our Auburn distribution center to service southern Maine.

Machias Savings Bank made a leadership gift of their own for a very similar reason. As President and CEO Larry Barker explained: “One cannot begin to think about financial security if one doesn’t first have food security. And food security begins in the community, a cornerstone of commitment MSB considers to be at the core of everything we do. After all, a community is only as strong as its people.”

The support Machias Savings Bank provided to our Food For All campaign will help Good Shepherd Food Bank to expand the youth and family initiatives that give food-insecure children a better chance at becoming successful adults. Successful adults open checking accounts. Successful adults fund savings accounts. Successful adults fulfill their dreams of buying a home of their own right here in Maine. Our friends at Machias Savings Bank understand that eliminating food insecurity means more opportunities for their neighbors as well as their business. As Larry concludes: “Like Good Shepherd, our success depends on dynamic partnerships. We are proud to support their initiatives, including the establishment of the new Hampden distribution center which will bolster their capacity to service Washington County where MSB is headquartered and where we see first-hand that food insecurity rates are among the highest in the state. We also appreciate the additional opportunities for Maine farmers and agricultural producers.”

For thousands of food-insecure Mainers, choosing between paying the electric bill and putting food on the table is an agonizing, monthly decision. To help people throughout the state avoid this dilemma, Emera Maine has a long history of supporting Good Shepherd Food Bank. Their employees have been regular volunteers at our Summer Lunch programs in Bangor and provided multi-year funding for our school BackPack Program. “Emera Maine employees are happy to support Good Shepherd’s efforts to distribute nutritious food to everyone in our community who needs it,” said Jennifer Ireland, controller for Emera Maine’s accounting and finance team. Jennifer’s team has recently volunteered at Good Shepherd Food Bank and also arranged a team donation through Emera Maine’s Good Neighbor Program. “Both organizations share a commitment to serve the communities where we live and work every day,” Jennifer concluded. “We are proud to partner with Good Shepherd Food Bank to power the lives of our neighbors here in Maine.”

Among the earliest supporters of our Food For All campaign were the good people at Darling’s. Their support was the result of a special promotion that generated a financial contribution, but also helped to raise public awareness of the persistent issue of food insecurity in our state. With car dealerships in Bangor, Ellsworth and Augusta, Director of Community Relations Lynne Darling Melochick and the rest of the Darling family are committed to helping their communities Do Better. “As a local business who cares about the well-being of our communities, Darling’s has been proud to support Good Shepherd Food Bank’s commitment to source the most nutritious food,” Lynne says. “When the food bank purchases from Maine farms, we understand how that positively affects the local economy while ensuring healthy food for those who need it the most. We are pleased to be a partner in this project and feel fortunate to have this resource in our region.”

CES, Inc., Machias Savings Bank, Emera Maine and Darling’s are just four of the food bank’s many corporate donors throughout the state of Maine. Without the generous financial support and employee volunteers from companies of all sizes and industries, our bold goal of ending food insecurity in Maine by 2025 would be an impossible dream. Thank you, corporate donors!