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Engaging volunteers to make an impact
on food insecurity in your community.

Amicus
Two teams from Amicus volunteer each week in the Hampden distribution center, providing much-needed help to get food out to partner agencies. Amicus is an organization dedicated to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. The participants in the organization's Phoenix Pathways to Employment program choose where they would like to volunteer, and the Food Bank has been fortunate to be one of their choices for the past several years.

Philip Tate, Amicus Program Specialist, shares, "The participants report that they enjoy their work at the Food Bank. It promotes teamwork and responsibility, as well as a sense of purpose and fun."

Jimmy has been a Food Bank volunteer for over four years. He shares, "I like working with all the people, especially Jane, Lorna, Hunter, and Roger. I also get a lot of exercise!" Another volunteer adds, "It's a nice place, and everyone here is nice."

"We feel this volunteer opportunity is important because it positively impacts a lot of people," shares Kelly McDonald, Amicus Program Assistant. Her teammates Shannon and Kris agree that it feels good to get a lot done and that they are volunteering in a pleasant place.

Wendy Parker, Amicus Program Director, states, "Volunteering provides individuals with opportunities to learn job skills and become involved in the community. Amicus is grateful for the partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank."

Cooking Matters 

In partnership with local schools and community organizations, the Nutrition Education Team at Good Shepherd Food Bank delivers Cooking Matters classes to members of our community. These cooking and nutrition classes are a fun, hands-on way to teach participants how to shop for and prepare budget-friendly, nutritious meals that all ages to enjoy.

As more in-person classes become available, our Cooking Matters team is looking for passionate volunteers to help support our efforts! Volunteers can be expected to assist with grocery shopping, classroom setup, cooking demonstrations, and much more. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please fill out this form, and we will reach out to you with information on upcoming classes.

Pictured here are two excellent participants from one of our Cooking Matters Families online courses! In this particular online lesson, they prepared baked flaked chicken. You can find this delicious recipe and many others at www.NutritionforME.org.

Apple Corps

The Volunteer Engagement Team is proud to introduce Apple Corps, a new volunteer recognition program. The program's purpose is to honor volunteers for their service to the food bank, recognize volunteer leaders, and support food bank ambassadors within the community.

Apple Corps recognizes hourly milestones reached by volunteers using three levels: Cortland, McIntosh and the JoAnn Pike Volunteer Service award. Quarterly, volunteers will be publicly recognized and awarded gifts for reaching hourly milestones. Click here to learn more about Apple Corps and eligibility requirements.

Our first Apple Corps Ambassador is Misty Coolidge, who has been traveling the country visiting Feeding America food banks and sharing information about how to fight hunger in our communities. Read about her travels in the blog posts on our website.

This spring, we are honoring the following volunteers:


Cortland Level-100 hours served in 2021:
Timothy Diehl, Portland
Ned Dubois, Bangor
Brenda Leighton, Hampden
William Mungall, Cumberland
Geraldine Tinkham, Auburn

McIntosh Level-200 hours served in 2021:
Kenneth Holt, Lisbon

Thomas Torrey, Bangor

JoAnn Pike Volunteer Service Award-500 hours:
Claire Begin, Lisbon

Doug Boyce, Standish
Dot Gibbert, Lewiston
Chase Nuttall, Old Town


Capacity Building Grants 

Good Shepherd Food Bank offers capacity building grants to our partners to increase the amount of nutritious foods they distribute. These funds can be used for various projects, such as adding new coolers, acquiring transportation, or even creating new initiatives. Read more about two of our Community Health and Hunger partners awarded capacity building grants in the last grant cycle.
Culturally Appropriate Food

Over the past year, the Food Bank has been working to meet the needs of our communities through sourcing culturally appropriate foods. Nancy Perry, Senior Sourcing Manager, explains, “It’s important for us to build trust by offering New Mainers food that supports them and their culture.”

This growing season, about six of our Mainers Feeding Mainers partners will be growing vegetables that are staples of African/immigrant diets. The produce includes okra, pumpkins, green beans and sweet potato leaves. We will be sourcing halal meats from Connecticut-based New England Meat Company, and the company said, "we are the first food bank to do so."

“Halal is the Arabic word for permissible for Muslims to eat; a well taken care of halal animal is chosen and is slaughtered by any Muslim,” explains Khadija Ahmed, Community Impact Manager. “It was such a relief to our new Muslim Mainers to gain access to halal meats, especially during Ramadan.” The meats made available will be lamb, goat, rabbit, beef and chicken.

Other food items such as red palm oil and salted fish are sourced from two African markets, Kaba African Market in Boston, MA, and FFA African Market in Portland, ME. Spices such as cumin, cinnamon, curry and chili powder are flying off the shelves. “The smell of these spices invokes memories of their families and communities and is an important part of feeling comfortable in a new country,” says Kay Gray, Sourcing Director.

Photo: Good Shepherd Food Bank Community Impact Manager Khadija Ahmed and Driver Pete Grinnell.
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White House will host first food insecurity conference in 50 years

President Joe Biden will convene a White House conference in September focused on ending hunger and improving nutrition across the nation, a White House official told CNN, as the US sees higher rates of food insecurity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
CNN
The bill will direct the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to work with other state agencies and invested parties to come together and create a comprehensive, strategic plan to end hunger in Maine by 2030.
News Center Maine
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