September 11, 2018
AUBURN, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) visited the Good Shepherd Food Bank, where he met with staff members to discuss the challenges facing Maine people who are struggling with the lack consistent access to heathy food due to lack of financial resources, often referred to as “food insecurity.” During the visit, Senator King also highlighted the important provisions for Maine in the Senate Farm Bill, which would boost Maine agriculture and protect important nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“The Good Shepherd Food Bank makes a tremendous impact on some of our state’s most vulnerable communities, distributing nearly 25 million meals per year to thousands of Maine people who face food insecurity,” said Senator King. “Maine’s people living with disabilities, seniors, veterans and children are among those most likely to lack access to healthy food, and the thought of these people going without food is unacceptable. Maine’s most vulnerable have enough challenges – access to food shouldn’t be one of them. The staff and volunteers at Good Shepherd are on the frontlines of this fight to support Maine people, and in Washington, I won’t stop working to find resources and solutions that can help them do their good work.”
Maine ranks the highest in terms of food insecurity among other New England states, with 16.4% of our citizens struggling with this challenge – including 1 out of every 5 children. Good Shepard Food Bank is one of the state’s most important resources to battle this trend, and distributes food to a network of more than 400 pantries, and provides approximately 25 million meals per year to 175,000 Maine people. The Senate Farm Bill, which passed by a vote of 86-11, would help fight food insecurity by reforming SNAP, which include consolidating existing work requirements, streamlining rules, and reducing burdensome paperwork. Additionally, the bill would also expand a pilot program that tests approaches to job training and other employment-related activities for participants.
Senator King has made feeding Maine’s most vulnerable among his priorities for Maine. In January, King visited St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston to discuss the Community Food Projects grant funding the center received from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help in its work to build greater food security in the Lewiston-Auburn area.