AUBURN – Hunger impacts people in every corner of the country, including 180,000 people in Maine struggling with food insecurity. And given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Good Shepherd Food Bank believes this number could climb to 250,000 this year.
That’s why Good Shepherd Food Bank is joining Feeding America® food banks nationwide this September to take part in Hunger Action Month™ and inspire people to take action to bring attention to the reality of food insecurity in America. This year’s campaign comes at a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt millions of people living paycheck to paycheck. Due to staggering unemployment rates, Feeding America estimates an additional 17 million people could be food insecure in 2020 as a result of this crisis, bringing the total up to 54 million people.
“Even before the pandemic hit, hunger existed. Hunger doesn’t discriminate and now more of our neighbors may be struggling to put food on the table,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “Kids in our children’s classes, the barista at a local coffee shop, a colleague, you never know who could be struggling to put food on the table today. Financial donations are the most effective way to help people in our community who are struggling with hunger.”
LiveME, an apparel company in Scarborough, Maine, has teamed up with the Food Bank to release a T-shirt that does a whole lot of good. “100 perent of the profits from this T-shirt go back to Good Shepherd Food Bank,” stated Chris Avantaggio, founder and owner of LiveME. “We wanted to do what we could to help the Food Bank supply resources to meal sites and food pantries across the state of Maine. Every t-shirt sold helps us do some good and feel good too!”
“We need your help now more than ever,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Hunger in this country existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has thrust more and more of our neighbors into food insecurity, and food banks are responding to sustained, increased demand. With the support of the community, together we can end hunger one helping at a time.”
September marks the 13th year the Feeding America network has organized this annual call to action. Don’t forget to wear orange on Hunger Action Day, Sept. 10. To learn more about Good Shepherd Food Bank and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month in Maine please visit feedingmaine.org or HungerActionMonth.org. You can also join the conversation by posting photos or stories to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @FeedingMaine and @FeedingAmerica.