Thursday, February 22, 2024

Good Shepherd Food Bank Hampden

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Expanding The Reach Of The Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd Food Bank and its partner organizations rely on volunteers

In the past, the distance was a major obstacle for agencies located several hours away from the Food Bank’s headquarters in Auburn many felt they were not able to access adequate quantities of food. The organization addressed this problem, as well as its responsibility to serve the entire state of Maine, by establishing a distribution center in Brewer. This facility has since closed however, a new distribution center in Hampden replaced it. The facility in Hampden now serves hundreds of agencies in seven counties in Northern and Downeast Maine.

Good Shepherd Food Bank To Dedicate New Hampden Distribution Center

Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger-relief organization, tomorrow will celebrate the opening of its new Hampden food distribution center and the completion of a $5 million capital campaign.

The organization will hold a dedication ceremony Thursday, at 11 a.m., at 11 Penobscot Meadow Drive, Hampden.

The event will begin with remarks by Mike Vail, president of Hannaford Supermarkets, followed by a ribbon-cutting with Good Shepherd representatives and local officials. Self-guided tours will then be offered.

Good Shepherd said in a news release that the 40,000-square-foot warehouse was established to help the bank distribute more food more frequently and more efficiently. Food will be distributed through northern and central Maine, as well Downeast.

While many other states are seeing hunger decline, Maine continues to see a high rate of food insecurity, ranking No. 12 nationally, according to new U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

The food bank already distributes more than 25 million meals annually from its Auburn distribution center. Good Shepherd said the new Hampden facility provides capacity to distribute an additional 10 million meals a year, and is fundamental to meeting the organization’s goal of eliminating food insecurity in Maine by 2025.

In July, tech entrepreneur Frederick Fritz Onion and his wife Susan Onion, of Wayne, pledged a $500,000 matching gift to help Good Shepherd Food Bank create the new branch.

About Good Shepherd Food Bank

Good Shepherd Food Bank Receives Support From Maines Credit Unions

The Maine Credit Union League will join representatives from Good Shepherd Food Bank at their Hampden Distribution Center, located at 11 Penobscot Meadow Drive in Hampden, on Wednesday, at 11:30 AM, to present the organization with a check for $20,000 to support their renovation efforts. Last year, Maines Credit Unions Campaign for Ending Hunger pledged $100,000 to support the facilitys expansion plans. Wednesdays donation will be the third contribution given to Good Shepherd Food Bank within the last year to fulfill that commitment.

Good Shepherd Food Bank purchased the former Bangor Daily News printing plant in 2015 and has only been using a portion of that facility for its food distribution operations since 2016. With the help of partners like Maines credit unions, the Food Bank has a $5 million Food for All capital campaign underway to fund significant renovations that will transform the facility into a food distribution center. Once complete, the distribution center will help the Food Bank more efficiently and equitably serve neighbors in Downeast, central, and northern Maine. To date, the Food for All campaign has raised $3.9 million.

Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised over $8 million, including a record-breaking $740,000 raised during 2017. The Campaign will announce its 2018 fundraising totals at its annual Ending Hunger luncheon taking place in February.

About the Maine Credit Union League

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Campaign To End Hunger

Today, over 180,000 Mainers rely on Good Shepherd Food Bank and its network of partners and nearly 30% of these citizens are children.

Our mission is simple: by 2025, all those struggling with hunger will have access to the nutritious food they need to thrive, when and where they need it. We want to raise $250 million to make that a reality.

Working with food donors, philanthropic supporters, and local partners across the state, we will help reduce the impact of hunger in our state and make Maine a stronger, better place to work and live.

Ellsworth Center Receives Two Grants From Good Shepherd Food Bank

Campaign to end hunger

The Ellsworth Center is the recipient of a $2800 Capacity Building Grant to purchase supplies necessary to expand the delivery of food items to UMA Students at the Ellsworth Center. The grant will be used to purchase reusable coolers and thermal blankets to transport cold items from Good Shepherd to the pickup site at the UMA Ellsworth Center and storage units for food products. The grant also provides for transportation costs from the Ellsworth Center to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Hampden.

Additionally, the Center also received a $500 Personal Care Grant to purchase personal care items for families. Personal care items such as shampoo/conditioner, soap/body wash, deodorant, razors, moisturizers, menstrual products, toothpaste/toothbrushes, dental floss, diapers, and wipes for example.

Students can look to get these supplies sometime soon in the new year.

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Good Shepherd Food Bank Unveils New Facility In Hampden

For over 30 years, Good Shepherd Food Bank has been dedicated to helping end hunger in Maine.

On Thursday, they unveiled their new food distribution center in Hampden.

Their hope is this state-of-the-art facility will allow them to reach more Mainers in need.

“We are all here today uniting around a common cause to end hunger in the great state of Maine, explained Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank.

It’s been a few years in the making, but Good Shepherd Food Bank finally has a new distribution center in Hampden.

The former newspaper printing plant has been transformed.

The building includes a dry storage space for products as well as areas for sorting, inspecting, packing, and distributing food.

Kristen Miale of Good Shepherd Food Bank says this new facility will help them reach their goal of ensuring all food-insecure Mainers have access to nutritious food, when and where they need it within the next five years.

She says having a location in Hampden will better serve those in need in central, northern, and Downeast Maine.

“We just simply needed to be closer to these communities to be able to serve them more effectively, said Miale.

According to a recent USDA survey, Maine ranks 12th in the nation for food insecurity. The hope is that this new distribution center will allow Good Shepherd Food Bank to distribute more food, more frequently.

The opening of the facility also marks the completion of their five million dollar Food for All capital campaign.

A Secondary Food System

Like many Maine organizations, Good Shepherd Food Bank comes from humble beginnings. In 1981, Joann and Ray Pike read about a food banka new concept at the timein Kansas City that took surplus food donations from local stores to share with those in need. They started a food bank of their own in their garage, quickly outgrowing the space. A relationship to accept food from area Hannaford Supermarkets allowed Good Shepherd Food Bank to supply food pantries in other communities.

Since then, the Food Bank has grown to two massive warehousesone in Auburn and another in Hampden. It supplies a network of more than 450 food pantries, meal sites, shelters, schools, and community programs in all 16 Maine counties. And it has drastically increased the share of fresh products it distributes to 60%.

Through all these changes, the basic food bank model persists. While it fills a need, Miale said it has its flaws. Local food pantries and programs were built around the limitations of the volunteers, facilities, and resources available at the time. They werent designed in an intentional, systematic way to best accommodate their clients, nor did they anticipate having to operate for so long.

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Prfc Visits Good Shepherd Food Bank

PRFC moves between 650,000 and 800,000 pounds of food each year, but where does it come from? This week, PRFC staff took a field trip to the Good Shepherd Food Bank facility in Hampden, ME, to find out! Many people confuse the words “food bank” and “food pantry.” Read on to learn the different roles they play in the charitable food system.

Good Shepherd Food Bank moves millions of pounds of food each year. Based in Auburn, this organization provides food to over 600 partner agencies throughout the state–food pantries, meal sites, shelters, senior centers, healthcare facilities, and schools. The Hampden warehouse distributes food to central, northern, and Downeast Maine. PRFC serves as a distribution hub for Good Shepherd Food Bank, helping the Food Bank to more efficiently distribute food throughout rural Piscataquis County. Each Monday, a Good Shepherd truck carrying pallets of dry goods, refrigerated, and frozen food makes a delivery at PRFC. PRFC then delivers to church, school, and community pantries throughout the Piscataquis region using our smaller, refrigerated box truck during the week.

We were delighted to tour the Hampden facility. Purchased by Good Shepherd in 2015, the site was formerly used as the Bangor Daily News printing press building. The grand opening of the facility took place in 2019 after renovations were complete!

Building Advocates Leadership Project

Good Shepherd Food Bank provides free summer meals for children in the Bangor area

The best people to identify changes needed in the food system are those who have experienced food insecurity themselves, Miale said, which is why raising up their voices has been a critical part of their initiative. On top of hosting community conversations to hear from those who receive assistance, Good Shepherd Food Bank also convened an eight-week program to train individuals in leadership and advocacy. The first round of training had eight participants from the Rockland area who were being served by Area Interfaith Outreach.

A critical part of the program is helping participants share their stories with policy officials so that decision makers better understand the challenges facing those in need. One of those storytellers is Keisha Beal, a 28-year-old mother from Rockland. I am the survivor of generational poverty, she begins her story, before recounting traumatic events of growing up after the murder of her father and dealing with hunger as an everyday reality. As a mother to three, she then struggled to feed her own family. She described such challenges as losing food assistance when she took full-time work, scraping together meals for her hungry children, and being scolded at the grocery store for using WIC benefits.

For the last 10 years, Area Interfaith Outreach has provided Beal and her family with food, vital assistance, and support. Theyve been there for me through every major event and setback and I will be forever grateful for their support, she said.

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Good Shepherd Food Bank

Good Shepherd Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, providing surplus and purchased food to more than 400 non-profit organizations throughout the state. In 2015, the Food Bank distributed 23 million pounds of food to its partner agencies.

The Food Bank’s primary warehouse is located in Auburn, Maine. It operates another distribution center in Hampden, Maine. The Food-Bank is a member of Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Read Also: Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering

Good Shepherd Food Bank Of Maine

2022 Goals

Good Shepherd Food Bank has set a bold goal: By 2025, all food insecure Mainers will have access to the nutritious food they need to thrive, when and where they need it. To achieve those aspirations, the Food Bank has set a bold goal to raise $250 million in an unprecedented statewide campaign. Ending hunger is a team effort, learn more:

Fundraising Events / Opportunities

  • Host a Virtual Food Drive. Learn more about this creative way to engage employees, clients, and other groups in the fight against hunger at
  • Ensure you are on our email list to be the first to know about engagement opportunities by signing up on our website.
  • Tune into the Feed Maine Telethon with NEWS CENTER Maine in May!
  • Collect food directly for your local food pantriespartners are listed on our website under Find Food.

Giving Opportunities

  • Join Corporate Partners for a Hunger-Free Maine, a group of socially responsible corporations that support our mission through monetary gifts and/or food donations. A variety of recognition opportunities are available to celebrate your contributions!
  • Start a recurring monthly donation or make a one-time gift online, through the mail, or by calling 207-782-3554.
  • Include the Food Bank in your estate planning.
  • Donate your Clynk account balance.
  • Select us as a beneficiary on AmazonSmile.
  • Donate a vehicle you no longer need by calling 855-500-RIDE.

Volunteer Opportunities


Good Shepard Food Bank Receives Donation To End Hunger

Summer Food Service Program

With the growing need to distribute food in the central and northern parts of Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank began a capital campaign to fund a distribution center in Hampden, Maine. As part of the Ending Hunger Campaign and efforts of the Maine credit unions, Brewer FCU pledged a total of $5,000 to Good Shepherd Food Bank. $1,000 each year for five years. We are pleased to be supporting the efforts of Good Shepherd Food Bank to work to provide food to Mainers, says Dave DeFroscia, President and CEO of Brewer FCU.

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Hampden Grand Opening And Building Dedication

Richard Warren, Bangor Daily News

Campaign Advisory TeamLarry Barker, Machias Savings BankJohn Bennett, Oakhurst DairyDoug Herling, Central Maine PowerGena Canning, Pine State TradingJudy Horan, NEWS CENTER MaineChris Kilgour, C& L Aviation GroupTodd Mason, Maine Credit Union LeagueTony McKim, First National BankCarrie Meo, DarlingsRobert Montgomery-Rice, Bangor Savings BankDeanna Sherman, Dead River CompanyCurtis Simard, Bar Harbor Bank & TrustFrank and Debbie PecoraroDenis St. Peter, CES, Inc.Mike Vail, Hannaford SupermarketsBill Williamson, Bank of AmericaLarry Wold, TD Bank

Ending Hunger In Maine One Community One Client At A Time

Posted , Filed under JTGF News & Updates.

John T. Gorman Foundation grant supports efforts at Good Shepherd Food to develop community-driven strategies to address hunger and empower the food insecure as advocates

At Good Shepherd Food Banks warehouse in Auburn, forklifts raise pallets of food onto shelves over 30 feet high. Garage doors lead to refrigerated coolers that can hold up to 22 truckloads of fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy. Boxes full of donated food from area grocery stores ride along conveyer belts to be sorted and cataloged by volunteers. Workers roam the floor, putting together orders for food pantries across the state.

It is a massive, smooth-running logistical operation. And, by many measures, it is a very successful one. Through its partner agencies, Good Shepherd served 25 million meals in 2019, assisting approximately 178,000 Mainers a month. Its an incredibly important service to our state, which has the highest hunger rate in New England and where 1 in 5 children are food insecure. Theres no doubt that Maine people have benefited greatly from how Good Shepherd has met their need for assistance.

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Who We Are

The Hampden Distribution Center is one of two distribution centers in Maine that collects and distributes food for Good Shepherd Food Bank. The center receives food from federal agencies, local retail partners, Maine farmers, and community members. The center was re-opened in July 2019 after a $5M renovation made possible by generous community donors.

What We Do

Good Shepherd Food Bank launches new business to freeze local produce

Good Shepherd Food Bank distributes food to over 500 partner agencies throughout Maine from our two distribution centers. The volunteer opportunties at the Hampden Distribution Center consists primarily of packing food boxes for two programs, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Community Health & Hunger Program .

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program works to improve the health of low-income people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of older Mainers.

CSFP is administered at the Federal level by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Good Shepherd Food Bank prepares and distributes CSFP food boxes for the state of Maine. The Food Bank distributes between 6,000 9,000 CSFP food boxes each month to partner agencies across the state.

CHHP provides healthcare partners with pre-packed emergency food bags for direct and immediate distribution to those who identify as food insecure. These bags, purchased by the healthcare center for $10 each and provided to patients at no cost, can provide 2-3 days of nutritious shelf-stable food to patients struggling to manage a chronic illness.

Through our Mainers Feeding Mainers program, the food bank works with over 80 farmers throughout the state to provide our partner agencies with local, nutritious produce.

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