Wednesday, 17 July 2019 17:18

Good Shepherd almost ready for ribbon cutting Featured

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HAMPDEN - In September, Good Shepherd Food Bank will be having a grand opening of their remodeled space. Our news team checked in to get an update on how renovations are going.

 

"We'll be able to serve an additional ten million meals annually through this location," said Melissa Huston, the community engagement officer for Good Shepherd Food Bank.

 

According to Huston, the building has been under construction since May of last year, and staff said the inside has been transformed not just with shelf space, but with freezers and coolers to keep produce longer.

 

"We will now be able to extend the shelf life of perishable items that come to us by easily three to five days for the perishable items," said Huston.

 

That's good news for local organizations that rely on Good Shepherd's distribution center, especially outside of the growing season, like the Brewer Area Food Pantry.

 

"They're a god send, if it wasn't for them I don't know how we would source produce," said Rich Romero, with the Brewer Area Food Pantry. "In the immediate renovations that I've seen over there and noticed, my favorite is that parking lot, my car doesn't take a beating anymore going in and out of there."

 

For the first time since they opened in 2013, volunteers in Brewer said they've seen a reduction in new patrons.

 

This fiscal year, compared to last year, they've seen an eight percent reduction in usage.

 

Those at Good Shepherd said they've also seen a slight decrease in food insecurity.

 

"We credit that to the amazing work of our collaborative work across the state, it does not mean that the need is not there," said Huston.

 

To meet that need, Good Shepherd has been fully operational during construction.

 

They're continuing to raise funds for the $5 million dollar project, and will need volunteers to help run the facility.

 

Anyone interested can learn more at the ribbon cutting celebration planned for September 26th.

 

Kelly Mitchell

Reporter
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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...

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