Friday, December 20, 2013

Welcome Brewer Area Food Pantry to the Network!

We are very happy to welcome the new Brewer Area Food Pantry to the GSFB network of hunger relief organizations. The pantry opened its doors the week of Thanksgiving thanks to the hard work and contributions of many local charitable organizations, businesses, private citizens and religious organizations, and led by OHI, a 501(c)3 corporation with offices in Brewer and the surrounding area. 

The Brewer Area Food Pantry held their public Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on December 11th with an outpouring of public support. There they unveiled the mural shown to the left that serves multiple purposes. The Vision and Mission statements of the pantry are written for all to see on the orange ribbons  tied around the trunk of the tree (orange is the color of hunger awareness).

Vision: "The Brewer Area Food Pantry envisions a future where our community works together to ensure no one ever goes hungry."

Mission: "The Brewer Area Food Pantry partners with community members to provide dignified and respectful access to nutritious food and essentials for anyone who needs assistance."

The vital importance that the Brewer Area Food Pantry places on local community support, and appreciation of that support, is further recognized as donors are invited to place their names on the tree (see photo below). 
A donor places his organization's name on the tree.

The Brewer Area Food Pantry is located at 222 North Main Street in Brewer and serves the residents of Brewer and Eddington. The hours of operation are:

The 1st four Wednesdays and Fridays of each month,  10am-12pm,
The 4th Thursday of each month, 6-8pm

For more information about the Brewer Area Food Pantry, contact Brenda Leavitt at 848-5804 ext. 1208 or

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Missing in Action!

Now that the 2013 farm season is over, we are asking our agencies to return any green farm totes or white burlap bags you received veggies or fruit in.  These items are the property of our farmers, and they are very expensive to replace.

You can bring the totes or burlap bags to any Good Shepherd Food Bank warehouse. 

Please return them as soon as possible so we can wash them and return them to our partner farmers.

Thank you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Calendar

Here's a quick reminder of our holiday schedule around Christmas.

Mark your calendars and inform your volunteers!  Good Shepherd Food Bank will be:

OPEN Monday, December 23, 2013;
CLOSED Tuesday, December 24 & Wednesday, December 25, 2013 for Christmas;
OPEN Thursday, December 26 & Friday, December 27, 2013;
OPEN Monday, December 30 & Tuesday, December 31, 2013;
CLOSED Wednesday, January 1, 2014 for New Year's Day;
OPEN Thursday, January 2 & Friday, January 3, 2014.

(We will not have an inventory day in January.)

Also, our company-wide Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 13, and we may close early that day.  If so, we will post signs in the warehouse by Friday, December 6, as well as post information on our Agency blog (

Farmers, Agencies, and Funders Gather for Harvest Celebration

On Thursday, November 22, local farmers, partner agencies, funders and Food Bank staff gathered in Auburn for a celebration of the 2013 harvest. The Food Bank's Mainers Feeding Mainers program is providing fresh, local produce to hunger relief agencies throughout the state - and it's showcasing the power of collaboration in the process.

This year, the Food Bank partnered with 20 farms to purchase fruits and vegetables for our hunger relief network. While we are still receiving some items, including root vegetables and apples, in total we have received 850,000 lbs. of local produce this season. Of that, the Food Bank purchased 400,000 lbs. and the additional 450,000 lbs. was donated by our farm partners.

To learn more about Mainers Feeding Mainers, visit our website or contact Nancy Perry, Food Sourcing Director, at

Renewals are Due December 31

Renewal forms for 2014 were mailed to our Tier 2 partner agencies on November 15, so please look in your PO box or church office if you haven’t received yours yet.

Renewals and the $30 annual fee are due to Good Shepherd Food Bank by December 31. In order to enjoy uninterrupted service, please be sure to have your renewals in by that time. Agencies without completed renewals will be suspended on January 2 until we receive the form and the fee.  Remember:  warehouse staff cannot lift a suspension; materials must be processed through our office in Auburn. If, come January, you have not yet submitted your renewal, please save yourself or your volunteers a trip to the warehouse only to be turned away empty-handed. 

If you have checked your mail and have still not received a renewal form, please email Heidi Lupardo ( or Connie Woodward ( or call (207) 782-3554, and we will send a form to you immediately.

Thank you.

Feeding America coming to Maine to collect client stories

As you may know, Feeding America works with food banks and agencies across the country to gather personal stories from people who struggle to get enough to eat. The people you serve have a powerful voice. They can help us raise awareness about the problem of hunger, advocate for policies that protect people from going hungry, and build support for programs that get food to people in need.

Feeding America is asking for our help. They will be coming to Maine at the beginning of 2014 and have asked Good Shepherd Food Bank to work with our partners to find families who are willing to share their personal experience with hunger. We are seeking people who want to help us dispel myths about people who use food pantries to encourage support for hunger relief programs across the country. Currently Feeding America is looking for the following types of families:

-Dual parent households
-Adult children care giving for aging parents
-Single father households
-Grandparents caring for grandchildren 

If you know of clients who have a compelling story that they would be willing to share, we would appreciate your help in connecting with them. Feeding America plans to capture personal stories through interviews, photography and video.

It is common for people to shy away from talking about such a sensitive issue with strangers. Please know that Feeding America is very respectful of clients and always present their stories and images in a dignified and truthful manner. They use only first names and cities/towns to identify storytellers and respect that some of the information they share might be sensitive and not appropriate for sharing publicly. Through these conversations, we hope to build relationships with clients so that we can continue to engage them in our efforts to make ending hunger in America a priority.

Examples of client interviews that Feeding America has done in the past can be found here: We want to make it as easy as possible for clients to share their stories with us, so we are extremely flexible. We can work around their schedule and the schedule of your agency. In return, the videos, photo and stories would be fully available for your agency to use for its communications or other purposes.

If you know of a client family who may be willing to share their story, please contact:

Clara Whitney, Communications Manager
Good Shepherd Food Bank
(207) 782-3554 ext. 1166

Thank you!
GSFB Network is a blog for partner agencies of Good Shepherd Food Bank focused on feeding Maine's hungry.