The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has awarded Good Shepherd Food Bank $3 million for its Mainers Feeding Mainers program to purchase vegetables, fruits, and seafood from Maine producers and to distribute them to hunger relief programs across the state.
“Our farm partners are providing us with top quality, nutritious food for our neighbors in need,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “This funding will allow us to expand our work with Maine farmers, put money back into local communities, and provide healthier options to families that are having trouble putting food on the table. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The Mainers Feeding Mainers program was initially established with private philanthropic dollars, including those from The John Merck Fund. The Fund for a Healthy Maine award will allow the program to grow and will provide a stable source of funding for several years.
Good Shepherd Food Bank, which currently contracts with 50 farms across the state, plans to increase to 80 farm partnerships in coming years. In 2015, it purchased 840,000 pounds from Maine farms and fisheries and distributed a total of 24 million pounds of food to Mainers through a network of 400 local partner agencies. The organization plans to increase purchasing from local sources steadily throughout the 3-year contract term, bringing that number to approximately 1.3 million pounds by 2018.