Hampden, ME – Good Shepherd Food Bank has received a $1,000,000 grant from Next Generation Foundation to help fund significant improvements to the organization’s Hampden distribution center. Once renovations are complete, the Food Bank will have the capacity to distribute an additional 10 million meals per year across the state, including nourishing perishable food.
“We are grateful for Next Generation Foundation’s commitment to ending hunger in Maine,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “Our Hampden distribution center is central to our strategy to serve the counties in northern and eastern Maine more efficiently and more equitably. Next Generation Foundation understands that the counties in northern and eastern Maine have the highest rates of food insecurity in New England and that the effects in our communities are devastating. We are thankful for the Foundation’s leadership in addressing this important issue.”
In addition to its Auburn headquarters, Good Shepherd Food Bank has been operating on a limited basis out of the former Bangor Daily News printing plant in Hampden since March 2016. Pending additional philanthropic funding, the Food Bank will renovate the facility to include dry storage, a large freezer, and computer-controlled produce storage units with distinct temperature and humidity environments. These state-of-the-art cold storage units will help the organization ensure that people in northern, eastern and central Maine who are struggling with hunger have year-round access to local produce, dairy, meat, and seafood products.
“Hunger is a significant issue in Maine, with more than 16 percent of our population—including one in five children—lacking adequate access to the nutritious food they need to thrive,” said Miale. “Our planned Hampden distribution center will help address Maine’s meal gap and help stabilize the lives of our neighbors so that they won’t need to depend on the charitable food network in the future.”
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 more than 400 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior 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 2016, the Food Bank distributed more than 22 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.