BREWER, Maine — Good Shepherd Food-Bank has increased capacity to move food throughout Maine thanks to a $115,000 donation from Dead River Co. that enabled the food bank to purchase a 48-foot-long tractor-trailer truck.
“Now we can get more food out there,” Christine Force, Good Shepherd vice president for development, said at a press conference Wednesday at the Good Shepherd distribution center in Brewer.
She noted that more than 200,000 people in Maine deal with issues of hunger, including one of every four of Maine children. “Dead River came to us about nine months ago to see what our needs were and how they could help,” Force said. “They approached us with the idea of the truck.”
Last year, the food bank distributed 13 million pounds of food to more than 600 local food pantries and agencies, which translates to meals for 36,000 Maine residents each week. Forty percent of those served by the food bank network are children, according to information provided by the food bank.
“Our motto is ‘Delivering on a Promise,’” said Robert A. Moore, president and CEO of Dead River. “With this donation we are delivering on a promise to support the communities we serve. The very nature of the work we do brings us into people’s homes and we see the need. Part of our promise is to be good neighbors and to address the basic needs of food and warmth. It’s surprising to learn how many in Maine are hungry and need food. The government does its best, but it can’t do everything.”
Marcia Michaud, a representative of the Katahdin Cupboard food pantry serving the East Millinocket area, said, “Without this truck [bringing food] we would not be able to do what we do. We serve 300 families and there are 1,200 people in those families.”
Moore noted that 100 agencies served by Good Shepherd in Penobscot County provided more than 1.5 million pounds of food last year, approximately 70 agencies in Androscoggin County distributed more than 1.8 million pounds of food, and nearly 200 agencies in Cumberland and York counties dispersed more than 2.1 million pounds of food.
“We want to do more, and we will. That’s a promise. Dead River company will deliver,” Moore said.