More than 70,000 children in Maine are living with food insecurity, meaning they don’t always know where their next meal will come from, or if it will be enough. That means 1 out of every 5 Maine kids struggles with hunger – the highest child hunger rate in all of New England.
Since 1993, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters has provided low-income people at risk of hunger with hands-on cooking and nutrition classes led by volunteer professional chefs and nutritionists. These four to six week classes are held in local community agencies and schools. Classes are free to participants and host agencies. At each class, participants receive a bag of groceries and recipes to try at home.
Good Shepherd Food Bank launched Mainers Feeding Mainers by forming partnerships with the people who work the land and the sea, to provide food for Mainers facing hunger. Our goal: to get fresh and nutritionally balanced Maine-harvested food to Maine families in need.
Lack of adequate nutrition can worsen chronic conditions such as Type II diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, and can prevent people from successfully managing their health. Through our Community Health and Hunger Program, the Food Bank partners with healthcare providers to connect food insecure patients with community resources and the food they need to live healthier lives.
The Building Advocate Leadership Program is a skill-building program designed to support participants in using their personal stories as tools for change.
Hunger is a widespread and persistent problem across our state with disproportionate impacts on communities of color, Indigenous, refugee, immigrant, and asylum-seeking populations. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted racial disparities within our food system that create unnecessary barriers for people of color to access the food they need when and where they need it.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides commodity food products to food banks across the country. Good Shepherd Food Bank distributes these foods to families and seniors in Maine who are struggling with hunger.