Media Relations: Allison Kent
BIDDEFORD, Maine – Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) and Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine announced the launch Community Driven Strategies to End Hunger initiative in York County.
“In 2018, the Food Bank built on existing work to divide Maine into 27 regions,” Shannon Coffin, Good Shepherd Food Bank’s vice president of community partnerships, specified. “We then used city-level food insecurity data and determined the community-level food gap. Local experts gathered with members of the Good Shepherd Food Bank team to identify solutions to food access challenges unique to the area.”
The Food Bank focuses on two to three of the 27 regions each year. Cohort four will begin this fall and include Biddeford. Each region will develop its own environmental scan, identify key stakeholders, assess strengths and opportunities, organize focus groups with those experiencing food insecurity, and create work plans to end hunger in their communities.
“This investment by Good Shepherd Food Bank will help our leaders and community members in the City of Biddeford to work together in solution-focused work to fight hunger in our community.” said Betsy Kelly, Director of Community Health Improvement, SMHC.
Food Bank Community Driven Strategies to End Hunger initiative has supported projects/objectives in Lewiston, suburban Portland, Northern Penobscot County, Washington County and Lincoln County. Cohort three is in progress and supports projects in Northern Kennebec County and Somerset County. Cohort four will begin this fall and will support projects in Piscataquis County and the Biddeford area.
The kick-off meeting will be held on November 16to from 1-3 pm at SMHC Biddeford Medical Center. If you are interested in volunteering to be part of the solution to ending hunger in Biddeford and Maine, please contact Kelly Roberts at Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information and a complete list of projects supported by the Community Driven Strategy, please visit www.FeedingMaine.org.
About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is an award-winning health care organization that includes a full-service, acute care medical center in Biddeford and a medical center in Sanford with York County’s only inpatient behavioral health unit. Both medical centers offer 24/7 emergency care, surgery and diagnostic services. SMHC offers outpatient primary care, specialty care, diagnostic and therapeutic services throughout York County and Walk-In Care centers in Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England with a nonprofit mission dedicated to “improving the health of our patients and our community by providing high-quality affordable care, educating daycare tomorrow, and researching better ways to provide care.” To learn more, visit www.smhc.org.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
As Maine’s largest hunger-relief organization, Good Shepherd Food Bank supports Mainers facing hunger by sourcing nutritious food and distributing it to nearly 600 partner organizations across the state, including food pantries, food pantries, schools, health care centers and senior programs. . The Food Bank also supports a network of partners with capacity-building and innovation grants that improve and promote equitable and dignified access to nutritious food across the state. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 29 million meals through its partner network, and strategically invested $4.2 million in grants to the partner network. The Food Bank leads statewide efforts to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education and strategic partnerships and currently leads the $250 million Campaign to End Hunger in Maine.