How Solutions to Food Insecurity Are Fueling the Future at Good Shepherd Food Bank
By Angela Tague Thinking Sustainably
May 2, 2023
Sometimes, doing good means teaming up with people who have bright ideas for positive change to make their impact even stronger. In 2022, Tom's of Maine collaborated with Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine to harness the nurturing power of local farms, find solutions to food insecurity, and create healthy opportunities for local residents through the Mainers Feeding Mainers program.
This program partners with local producers to distribute food to those experiencing food insecurity in Maine, triggering a ripple effect of kindness to help uplift the nation.
What Does Good Shepherd Food Bank Do?
With distribution centers in Auburn and Hampden and an administrative office in Yarmouth, the Food Bank provides food to its partner agencies for distribution to neighbors throughout the state of Maine. Over 139,000 residents currently rely on the Food Bank's services (and the services of its network partners, such as food pantries) to reduce hunger.
Good Shepherd Food Bank has launched several food insecurity programs to improve the lives of thousands of Mainers. For example, its Youth and Family Initiatives support children's nutritional needs outside of school hours. Meanwhile, Cooking Matters Maine provides chef and nutritionist-led cooking and nutrition classes to low-income residents at no cost, and Community Health and Hunger offers resources and food insecurity training for healthcare partners.
What Is the Mainers Feeding Mainers Program?
Supported by Tom's of Maine in 2022, Good Shepherd Food Bank's Mainers Feeding Mainers (MFM) program contributes to the Food Bank's larger mission to resolve food insecurity in Maine. It provides locals with fresh, locally harvested, and nutritionally balanced foods.
Beginning with just nine farm partners when it was formed in 2010, MFM now works with over 90 farm partners. Local produce makes its way from Maine fields to schools, senior living facilities, food pantries, healthcare centers, and the Food Bank's distribution centers. This incredible program ensures Mainers have access to fresh, nutrient-dense foods, including vegetables, fruits, honey, and proteins, such as fish.
When the growing season starts to wind down, the Food Bank has a plan in place to keep the momentum going. Harvesting Good—a for-profit benefit corporation and wholly owned subsidiary—provides access to affordable frozen local produce that supports local farmers during the winter months.
How Does the Food Bank Support the Environment?
Good Shepherd Food Bank recognizes that climate change affects global food security—and that the work it does in Maine affects the world as a whole. In alignment with these values, the Food Bank created a Green Pledge:
Our Green Pledge: We are doing our part in mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change. Climate change directly impacts poverty and hunger as it adds to the preexisting circumstances our neighbors currently face.
To help uphold its pledge, the Green Initiatives program focuses on using efficient green technology systems, such as LED lighting, HVAC controls, solar panels, and variable speed refrigeration controls, to decrease its carbon footprint.
The organization also works in partnership with Agri-Cycle waste recycling to convert nonedible food products into renewable energy and fresh soil, rather than contributing to landfill waste. Product packaging is recycled or composted.
How You Can Get Involved
By elevating awareness surrounding key social and environmental issues and innovating solutions to food insecurity in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank is slowly healing its small corner of the world and inspiring others to do the same in their communities across the globe.
To learn more and see what it's up to this week, follow the Food Bank on Instagram. If your farm would like to get involved with the Mainers Feeding Mainers program, get in touch or reach out to Nancy Perry at email@example.com.
Image Sources: Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine | Angela Tague | Angela Tague
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
When like-minded individuals team up, great things happen. Tom's of Maine and Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine are working together to create awareness and positive change surrounding issues like hunger and climate change.