Monday, July 2, 2018

Advocacy Update

State Policy
The legislature continues its work to wrap up the 128th legislative session. The bill that the Food Bank had been working on, LD 173 An Act to Reduce Food Insecurity, which would have provided funding for statewide hunger relief services, died on the Appropriations Table. We will soon begin planning our approach for working with the legislature during the next session to support our mission.

Federal Policy
The Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill, which protects and strengthens the SNAP program, on June 28. The House passed a Farm Bill that would drastically change SNAP and cut benefits for more than 2 million Americans earlier in June. Now the two bodies must work out a conference version of the Farm Bill. They are expected to start conferencing the bill after the July 4 recess, so there will be more information to come later in the summer.

Agency Services Update

This section of the newsletter gives you important updates from our team. As always, please reach out to your local field representative, or anyone on our team with any questions.

• Food Safety Training. In May, we unveiled our new online food safety training and toolkit! Thank you to partners who have completed the training and provided valuable feedback. If you missed our communication last month that included details about how often your program needs to receive training and who needs to be trained, please feel free to reach out to your GSFB field staff. To view the food safety training toolkit, and to take the food safety assessment, please visit our GSFB website at:

• Expanded Hours Initiative. Please check your email if you didn’t see our grant announcement sent out on June 18th. We will be choosing five food pantries to receive $2,000 grants in order to expand their service hours by at least two hours per month. Applications are due by noon on July 11th!

• FoodKeeper Guidelines. Learn about the guidelines we follow to maximize the quality of food products:

• Agency Services Team Contacts: The Agency Services team at Good Shepherd Food Bank consists of our field staff based throughout the state, an administrative support position in Auburn, and the Agency Services Manager, also based in Auburn. Contact information for our team is updated and available on our website here:

Pilot Study Open

Dear Partner Agencies –
Good Shepherd Food Bank is excited to begin a new project aimed at improving service for people struggling with hunger across Maine.
As we previously announced, we are inviting food pantry partners to participate in a Pilot Study for the Service Insights Initiative. Good Shepherd Food Bank is seeking up to 25 partner agencies to participate in the Pilot Study, working together with the Food Bank to collect data at the local level about people being served at your food pantry using a uniform intake process.
Participants in the Service Insights Pilot Study will be provided with data collection software and any needed technology, training materials and ongoing technical assistance, as well as customized data reports for your agency prepared by Good Shepherd Food Bank to reflect our appreciation for your participation. And, of course, you will have full access to the data you collect!
The opportunity to apply for the Pilot Study is NOW OPEN. Please follow the link below to access more information about our Service Insights Initiative, and to fill out your application today. The link to the application will close July 31, 2018.  
If you have questions about this project, please reach out to John Rorke, Research & Evaluation Manager at 207-782-3554 ext. 1198 or

Learn New Recipes!

The Nutrition and Education team is excited to share a few recipes created by dietetic intern Robin Pelkey with Iowa State University. The following recipes and videos highlight several TEFAP food items; the recipes can be printed and provided to patrons with TEFAP distribution and/or available at your food pantry. If you are interested in saving the videos to display on a monitor at your food pantry contact Courtney Kennedy, GSFB Nutrition and Education Program Manager at

The recipe links are here:


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