Skip to content

March 26, 2024

King Announces $119,000 for MaineHealth to Secure Mobile Food Pantry

The funding was secured by the Senator in the Bipartisan FY2024 Congressionally-Directed Spending Appropriations Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King has announced that MaineHealth has been awarded $119,000 through the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2024 Congressionally-Directed Spending (CDS) appropriations package to purchase a refrigerated van to support its medicine and food insecurity programs in the Portland area. A refrigerated van will allow MaineHealth to develop a Food-as-Medicine program to serve those with substance abuse disorders and other chronic diseases, as well as better support the Food Pantry at Maine Medical Center (MMC).

The funding is part of the $454 million — for 185 projects — that the entire Maine delegation secured for state projects in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Package.

“Every Maine person deserves access to fresh and healthy foods; no one should ever have to go hungry,” said Senator King. “As the dedicated professionals at MaineHealth serve some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents, they know that food is medicine, and can improve the quality of life for many. This refrigerated van would serve as a one-stop food shop, working to remove meal time barriers and cut down on food insecurity for those who need it most.”

“In less than a year, the MMC Food Pantry has become a critical community asset, and the mobile food vehicle funded by the congressional allocation will allow our programming to grow not only in terms of geographic reach but will intentionally connect us with those disparate populations who have not benefitted from having nutritious food available to them,” said Barbara Ginley, Director of Community Health of Greater Portland. “This is one more step forward in holistically integrating food-as medicine offerings for those whose health is compromised by food insecurity. We are grateful to Sen. King for his advocacy to meet this important need.”

Senator King has been a vocal advocate for food security and the national nutrition waiver program. When COVID-19 closed schools at the beginning of the pandemic, Senator King pushed to make sure students who rely on school nutrition programs could still access nutritious meals. Following the Senator’s push with the Maine delegation, the USDA announced the now-active nationwide waiver. Last spring, he introduced the bipartisan Support Kids Not Red Tape Act to extend the critical waiver program.

The 185 FY24 Maine investments secured by the entire Maine delegation can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet HERE and viewed on a map HERE.

CDS funding is included in annual federal appropriations bipartisan legislation and provides a specific amount of discretionary funding to a state, locality, or nonprofit organization for projects with demonstrated civic and community value. Last year, Senator King secured over $250 million in Congressionally-Directed Spending for 140 Maine projects.

Senator King will begin accepting preliminary requests for FY25 Maine-based Congressionally-Directed Spending projects, pending updated FY25 guidance, in the upcoming weeks. Details on the FY25 CDS opportunity will be available on Senator King’s website.


Next Article » « Previous Article