Our 2014 Regional Agency Conferences are a memory, but the resources to help you with some of your most challenging issues are still available, and they're right in our network.
First, thanks so much to everyone who attended our 3 sessions: Auburn on May 5, Brewer on May 12, and Caribou on May 19. We were so grateful that you took time from your pantry and kitchen duties to attend and share your struggles and successes with us and with your peers. No one understands this work like others who are doing it! We had over 200 individuals attend the conferences, representing 85 partner agencies!
Good Shepherd Food Bank President Kristen Miale provided slides about our work at the Food Bank as well as what is happening on a state-wide level: county distribution data, how many people live in poverty, what percentage of food distributed by the Food Bank is nutritious food, and what we hope to accomplish within our network moving forward. Those slides, with the panelist information, can be found here for the Auburn conference or here for the Brewer conference. (Download may take a few moments -- and you will need Power Point to read them.) (Caribou participants were given handouts; everyone is welcome to view the different conference lists.)
Our afternoon activity at our Auburn and Brewer conference locations was a session we called, "Connecting the Dots" -- small group discussions on a variety of topics of interest to you, including "Transportation," "Relocating your Operation," "Starting a Garden," "Starting a Pantry Network Meeting," and others. We asked you to tell us and one another what you are either "Already Doing Well" or "Want to do (more of) This." We had great discussions and shared a lot of helpful information! Participant information for those sessions can be found here for Auburn and here for Brewer. (Again, the download may take a few moments, and you will need Excel to read the spreadsheets. Different topics are labeled at the bottom of each spreadsheet -- just click on the title, and the spreadsheet will open with that topic.)
One thing we do at the Food Bank when we are trying to figure out a process, a communication plan, a creative way to move a particular product is to reach out to other Food Banks. Hopefully these lists, and the contact information they contain, can be helpful to you when you have questions. We're available to one another for help and advice as well as to brainstorm what some likely solutions can be! If we use the collective power of the group, we can be even more successful in ending hunger in our communities!
If you have trouble downloading these files, please be in touch with your Agency Services Field Rep!