Friday, April 29, 2016

Maine Senior FarmShare Information is Available Now

$50 FarmShares are available to qualifying seniors

The state-wide Senior FarmShare program pairs seniors with farm-fresh product in their communities.  Qualifying seniors can receive a $50 FarmShare to their local farm for a variety of fresh products. 

Senior FarmShares are popular, and the farmer limits the number of shares available at her/his farm, so sign up early!  If you need help, contact your local Agency on Aging at 1-877-353-3771.

Links to more information:

Senior FarmShare Information & Eligibility (age, income, responsibilities of the participants)  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bangor Savings Bank Announces "Community Matters More" Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Bangor Savings Bank's "Community Matters More" campaign. Thousands of Mainers cast votes for their favorite non-profit agency.  Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will donate $100,000 to 68 Maine-based non-profit organizations, including these Good Shepherd Food Bank partners:

$5,000 Awards:
  • Augusta Food Bank 
  • Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard
  • York County Shelter Programs, Inc.

$1,000 Awards:
  • Augusta Boys & Girls Club
  • End 68 Hours of Hunger
  • Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Food Cupboard
  • Caring Unlimited

Monday, April 25, 2016

Applesauce: More Than a Side Dish

Applesauce is a handy food that can be used in many different ways. Applesauce is not only a great snack for all ages, it can be used for baking, as a topping, or with a meal.

Homemade applesauce does not have added sugar because apples have natural sugar and fewer ingredients are needed to make it. Most store bought applesauce contains added sugar like high fructose corn syrup. The following list of ingredients is from a store-purchased sweetened applesauce.  Notice that the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.  Be sure to be an informed consumer and read not only the label but also the ingredient list when purchasing applesauce.

Good Shepherd Food Bank has frozen applesauce in 2 and 4 cup packages (4 and 8 half-cup servings) made from local Maine apples, with no additives.
Besides snacking, applesauce can be:
  • Added to yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal
  • Used as a topping for pancakes or waffles
  • Used in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or as a spread on toast instead of jelly, which can be high in added sugar
  • Used in baking to lower the fat calories in a recipe by substituting half of the oil or butter for applesauce. If a recipe calls for ½ cup oil, use ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup applesauce instead.
  • Used as a substitute for up to 2 eggs in a recipe, even if the recipe calls for only 2 eggs.  Substitute ¼ cup of applesauce for each egg; do not substitute more than two eggs in a recipe or the results won’t be desirable.  

    Applesauce Muffins
    • 2 cups flour
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • ½ cup butter, melted
    1.       Heat oven to 375 degrees
    2.       Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray
    3.       Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl
    4.       Mix in beaten egg, applesauce and melted butter (by hand do not need a mixer)
    5.       Evenly scoop mixture into muffin pans
    6.       Bake for 18-20 minutes. Test to see if toothpick comes out clean

    Apple Cinnamon French Toast
    • 3 large eggs
    • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ cup applesauce
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 6 slices of your favorite whole wheat bread

    Break eggs into a large, shallow mixing bowl. Add applesauce and cinnamon. Using a fork or whisk, gently whip mixture until well blended. Set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Dip bread, one slice at a time, in egg mixture (be sure to coat both sides). Place coated slices carefully into the skillet and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Cooking Matters Maine Included in National Study

    Share Our Strength, the national sponsor of the Cooking Matters program, recently completed a study showing the long-term impact of Cooking Matters courses, and Good Shepherd Food Bank’s program in Maine was one of the geographic areas included in the study.  

    In 2015, Share Our Strength worked with Altarum Institute, an independent health systems research organization, to conduct the first-ever long-term study of the program. Proving what we have heard from participants for years, the analysis found that Cooking Matters has a powerful, sustained impact that is significantly greater than changes that would have occurred without intervention.  After learning Cooking Matters strategies, the study found that families have a more positive attitude about cooking, leading them to cook more often; are eating and making healthier, more budget-friendly meals; and are more confident that they’ll be able to stretch their food dollars each month.

    Because so many of our hunger-relief partners have offered information on or hosted Cooking Matters classes, we wanted to share information about the study outcomes with you.  It’s so gratifying to know that the effort put forth by families and individuals to learn about healthy eating on a budget results in habit changes that last.  If you are interested in the details of the study, here are links to the study brochure and executive summary.

    This study is solid affirmation of the power of the Cooking Matters program.  Great job to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Cooking Matters team and to our host sites for taking part in the study and for what you do every day in your work!

    Are you interested in knowing more about Cooking Matters?  Be in touch with Program Manager Courtney Kennedy at or (207) 577-4847.


    Sunday, April 3, 2016

    Do You Use Social Media? -- March Newsletter Survey Results

    Results of the March Newsletter Survey: “Social Media – Do You or Don’t You?” (summary at

    Of the forty agencies that responded, 55% indicated that they use some form of social media to support their work while 45% said they do not.

    Of those that do not use social media, almost half responded that they do not have a computer to use for this purpose, and 41% responded that they do not have a staff or volunteer who knows how to use social media.

    Of those agencies that do use social media, 90% use Facebook while 10% use Google+. Three quarters have a volunteer maintaining their social media account, while 25% have paid staff for this work. Two thirds of agencies reported spending less than an hour updating social media, while the other third report spending less than two hours a week on this task.

    Some notable quotes:

    Our Facebook site reaches more people with the tap of a button than we can any other every fundraising event we always ask how they heard about what was going on and we hear Facebook 9 out of 10 times...the other 1% heard from a friend who saw it on FB!!!

    Due to posting opportunities at the pantry we have seen an increase in volunteerism and some of those volunteers have become key financial donors.

    We needed several items at the last minute for a holiday meal and posted on Facebook about it. Someone who saw our post brought in a bag of donations that was exactly what we needed.

    A new client private messaged me after seeing that we would be open the following day. She told me her situation and asked several questions…. I was able to get back to her within a few hours and made sure she would have food the following day.

    Thanks to all who responded.  A drawing for a store gift card will be held in late-May, and the winner will be announced in June’s newsletter.
    GSFB Network is a blog for partner agencies of Good Shepherd Food Bank focused on feeding Maine's hungry.