Even though Good Shepherd Food Bank and our partners know hunger is a year-round challenge for our consumers, the issue of hunger gets the most attention as winter approaches. With that in mind, we have come up with some suggestions on how to respond if news reporters ask you for details on how your program is coping this holiday season.
- Invite them to visit your pantry during a distribution or take pictures of the waiting lines (protecting consumers’ privacy)
- Write a letter to the editor or an article about your program to your local paper
- Speak with them about the increased demand for services over last year and/or last holiday season
- Explain the needs your program has for year-round support
- Collect and share stories from consumers you’ve met recently – stories are compelling to potential donors
- Speak about how appreciative you are of the support of so many in your community, especially long-time donors of food and funds, and how hunger is a community problem that we can solve together
- Explain how SNAP (food stamp) benefit cuts are putting an even bigger strain on families’ finances and increasing the demand on your pantry or meal program
- Tell them how far you can make financial donations go by shopping smart and getting a lot of free produce at Good Shepherd Food Bank
- Use statewide statistics to show the prevalence of hunger in Maine: 200,000 Mainers face hunger every day, including 1 in 4 Maine children.
- Need data on your county? Go to http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap.aspx
- For rates of free and reduced lunch in your school district (an indicator of child hunger), go to https://portal.maine.gov/sfsr/sfsrdev.ed534.ed534_parameters
- Need more help? Contact us!