Monday, 12 March 2018 17:02

Good Shepherd Food Bank announces expansion Featured

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HAMPDEN - Here's some food for thought:  the Good Shepherd Food Bank is expanding its reach in the community, thanks to some help from the Maine Credit Unions.

The first of two donation checks were handed over Monday morning to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.


The Maine Credit Unions have committed $100,000, and it's all going toward a new food packing area at Hampden's distribution center.


The food bank's president, Kristen Miale, says they will be focusing on adding more freezer facilities.


She said the issue isn't a lack of food donations, it's actually reaching the people who need it, especially the local areas that have the highest rate of hunger in the northeast.


"We needed to be closer to these communities and that's what this building is all about," said Miale, "investing in this community. And we're really hoping it becomes a community resource."


The funds are coming in from fifty-six credit unions in Maine.


"This is just a way that credit unions go back to our foundation," said Maine Credit Union President & CEO Todd Mason, "and our philosophy of people helping people."


The funds are focusing on fresh, locally sourced products. The new packing facility's freezers will be stocked with produce, meat, and seafood.


"That obviously needs to be stored in a different kind of warehouse so this is an investment in that new approach," said Miale. "We call it nutrition banking, not just food banking anymore."


The food bank says they're grateful for the partnership with the credit unions. They're also looking forward to the additional 11 million meals they'll be distributing through central and down east Maine.


"We could get the food in this warehouse and it would sit here," said Miale, "so their investment in all those community-based programs is all so incredibly important to our work."


Groundbreaking for the new food packing area will begin in May.


The food bank is hoping to be done with the renovations within a year.

Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...