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Business and Economy

Maine's Largest Food Bank Distributes Record Number of Meals

AUBURN, Maine - Maine's largest hunger relief organization distributed a record number of meals last year. Officials with the Auburn-based Good Shepard Food Bank say the 17.5 million meals it provided to Mainers in 2014 was a 35 percent increase over 2013.

Clara Whitney, spokesperson for the agency, says while more nutritious food is getting to Maine families in need, the state still has a significant meal gap.

"We're dealing with a 36 million meal gap each year," she says. "And so, while over 17 million meals is a step in the right direction, it's certainly not meeting the entire need."

Good Shepherd says that about half the growth in the Food Bank's distribution came from its retail store pick-up program. But the agency says it more than doubled its purchases of Maine-grown products, and saw an increase in donations from local growers.