Friday, September 27, 2013

Training Available for Online Ordering

Would you like to be able to have more volunteers trained on how to use our online ordering system?  We'd be happy to host a small group at our Auburn warehouse!  Let your Agency Services Field Rep know you're interested, and we'll set you up.  Would you prefer more one-on-one help in your own pantry?  We're happy to help you.

Here Bria White (L), Manager of the Cupboard Collective, and Heidi Lupardo (standing R), Agency Services Specialist, lead a training in our Auburn offices on how to use Good Shepherd's online ordering system to representatives from Waldoboro Food Pantry and St. Philip's Church Help Yourself Shelf in Wiscasset.

Matching Challenge Grant Timeline Has Changed

Matching Challenge Grant information will go out after the new year rather than in the fall, and the application will be due in the spring rather than the end of the calendar year.

We all feel the stress of too much to do and too much going on as a calendar year winds down.  We hope to alleviate a little of that stress by reducing the amount of paperwork we need from you at the end of the year. 

Good Shepherd Food Bank is committed to the Matching Challenge Grant and knows how important it is to our partners to have this fundraising match opportunity.  Stay tuned for more news on the Matching Challenge Grant after the New Year.

It's Renewal Time!

Look for your agency renewal forms coming in the mail later in October.  The form is slightly changed from last year, but essentially looks the same.  To continue uninterrupted partnership with Good Shepherd, each partner agency must return the renewal form and the annual $30 renewal fee (the same price as last year) by December 31, 2013.   

Monday, September 23, 2013

Local Growers Share Harvest with Mainers in Need

Mainers Feeding Mainers, Good Shepherd Food Bank's farm partnership program, is nearing the end of its 4th growing season!  The season got off to a slow start because of weather conditions, but growth picked up and soon our partner food pantries and meal sites were receiving cucumbers, summer squash, green beans, kale, chard, radishes, cabbage, corn, tomatoes and broccoli.  Soon the winter root veggies will be ready as well.

This summer, we worked with 20 farmers who grew vegetables for purchase by the Food Bank. In an exciting new development, we are now partnering with 7 apple growers in Maine and are expecting approximately 200,000 pounds of apples this fall. 

Approximately 80 of our member food pantries receive produce directly from local farms through the farm-to-pantry model. This method of distributing the fresh produce works well because it cuts down on transportation to and from the Food Bank and it connects local hunger relief agencies to growers in their communities.

In another new development this year, we are purchasing local produce for a processing pilot with Portland Public Schools - various veggies are being turned into sauce at the school district's kitchen facility. The first batch of sauce is done and we hear that initial taste tests conducted at Preble Street, Wayside Food Programs, and York County Shelter Programs have been a big success. Through this project with the Portland Schools, not only will our partner food pantries and meal sites have access to this locally-made sauce, but students will benefit as well, since the sauce will be used in school meals.
GSFB Network is a blog for partner agencies of Good Shepherd Food Bank focused on feeding Maine's hungry.