Why Feed Maine

Key Statistics

  • Fifteen percent of Maine households are food insecure, meaning they aren't able to access enough food to live a healthy life. This means 200,000 Mainers are struggling with hunger.
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank works with 600 local agencies statewide. More than half of those are food pantries. We also work with soup kitchens, shelters, community meal sites, senior centers, youth programs, and schools.
  • Last year, the Food Bank distributed 15.4 million pounds of food to our partner agencies. This is equivalent to 13 million meals for Mainers facing hunger.
  • Every dollar donated to GSFB, provides four meals.

Child Hunger

  • One in four Maine children faces hunger.
  • Zero percent of people served by Good Shepherd Food Bank's network are children.
  • Summer is an especially hard time for kids who aren't getting enough food because during the school year they can count on school meals, but during the summer where do they go?
  • There is a program called Summer Food Service Program – this is essentially just a continuation of the National School Lunch Program during the summer. USDA funds the program, just like school meals.
  • There are hundreds of sites for summer meals across the state. This summer Good Shepherd Food Bank is sponsoring meal sites in Bangor and Brewer.
  • During the school year, the Food Bank partners with schools and community organizations to operate the BackPack program, which provides kids with nutritious food for weekends and vacations, and the School Pantry program, which offers food assistance to children and their families in a convenient location – the school.

What does Good Shepherd Food Bank do?

The mission of Good Shepherd Food Bank is to eliminate hunger in Maine by sourcing and distributing nutritious food to people in need, building strong community partnerships, and mobilizing the public in the fight to end hunger.

Good Shepherd Food Bank works to end hunger in Maine by acquiring and distributing donated food to 600 local partner organizations throughout the entire state – food pantries, meal sites, shelters, schools, etc. The need for hunger relief in Maine is so great right now that the Food Bank also has to purchase food for our partner organizations. We use financial donations to purchase nutritious foods at discounted prices.

How will Feed Maine help the Food Bank in its mission?

Through the Feed Maine Food Drive, we will collect thousands of pounds of food that we can distribute to families in need throughout the state. The Food Bank is in need of both food and monetary donations right now to meet the high demand for assistance.

When you donate to the Feed Maine Food Drive, you can be assured that your donation will end up providing crucial nutrition to Mainers who are struggling every day just to make ends meet.

Hunger exists in every community in Maine – people struggling with hunger often times work one or more jobs; they have children; they are your neighbors. Donations from the Feed Maine food drive will go toward helping these people put food on their tables, so they can focus on getting through these tough times.

What is the need for food in Maine?

The need for food in Maine is severe – 200,000 Mainers are struggling with hunger. One in 4 Maine children is not receiving the nutritious food they need to grow and thrive. This is an unacceptable situation that we have to fix.

Good Shepherd Food Bank works with a statewide network of local agencies working on the front lines of hunger relief every day. There are many dedicated volunteers in communities across Maine working to solve this problem – and by supporting the Feed Maine Food Drive, you're supporting those local efforts.

Why is summer a particularly difficult time for families?

More than 80,000 children across Maine depend on free or reduced price meals during school to provide them with enough nutrition to lead a healthy life. When summer comes around, those children are no longer receiving breakfast and lunch at school and their parents have to make up the difference.

The meal gap for children during the summer is a huge challenge. Last summer, despite the best efforts of the organizations running summer meals programs, we only reached 17.5 percent of eligible children in the state with summer meals.

For a family with three school-aged children, they would need to come up with 300 extra meals over the course of the summer, plus snacks. For many Maine families, that is a big challenge because they are already struggling to make ends meet.

How far can the Food Bank stretch a cash donation?

For every $1 dollar that is donated, Good Shepherd Food Bank is able to 4 meals to a family facing hunger.

A gift of $10 is equal to 40 meals for a Maine family in need of a helping hand.

NEWS CENTER's Feed Maine Food Drive - June 14


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