Hunger in Maine
An ongoing problem
Hunger knows no boundaries: working and searching for work, rural and urban, children and seniors. A person is considered food insecure if they lack access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition. Many people are hungry because of sickness or injury, because they lost support of a spouse or parent through a death or separation, or because they have become financially insecure through a loss of a job. When these bad breaks happen, people are often forced to make painful choices between buying food, paying bills, and covering medical expenses. Every community in the state of Maine is touched by hunger.
By the numbers: Hunger in Maine
- Food insecurity: 16.4% of households, or over 200,000 people in Maine (Source: USDA)
- State ranking overall: Maine ranks 7th in the nation and 1st in New England for food insecurity (Source: USDA)
- Child food insecurity: 21%, or 1 in every 5 children, are food insecure (55,000 children) (Source: Feeding America)
- State ranking for children: Maine ranks 16th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of child food insecurity (Source: Feeding America)
- Senior food insecurity: 14% of Maine seniors experience food insecurity (Source: National Foundation to End Senior Hunger)
Hunger in Maine can be solved
Our state has plenty of food. The problem comes down to getting the food to the people in need, but it takes public and private sector partnerships to pull it off. Plus, it takes individuals donating food, contributing money, and volunteering their time.
Good Shepherd Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food and grocery products to all 16 counties in Maine through more than 400 nonprofit partner agencies operating on the front lines of hunger relief. By partnering with Good Shepherd Food Bank, these local pantries, meal sites, senior centers, and schools can stretch their limited budgets and provide even more relief for the people they serve.
Good Shepherd Food Bank is also actively involved in nutrition education programs, teaching people how to buy healthy food on a budget and prepare meals at home, and advocacy efforts to find long-term solutions to hunger.
How to help
You can donate money. One equals four! For every $1 you give to the NEWS CENTER Feed Maine project, Good Shepherd Food Bank can distribute 4 meals to hungry people.
You can volunteer. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides nutritious food to people in need across the entire state. Volunteers help in many ways including inspecting, sorting and packing food. You can sign up to help in our Auburn and Hampden distribution centers or find your local food pantry.
Where to find resources
Food Map. Find hunger relief agencies throughout Maine. There are partner agencies in every county including food pantries, meal sites, shelters, senior centers, schools, and other community programs.
Programs. Learn more about the Food Bank’s programs, including:
- Mainers Feeding Mainers – partnerships with local farms
- Child Hunger Programs – school-based initiatives
- Cooking Matters – cooking and nutrition education classes and grocery store tours