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Business and Economy

Three Maine Nonprofits Share In MacKenzie Scott's Philanthropic Money

Evan Agostini
MacKenzie Bezos (right) and ex-husband Jeff Bezos arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Three Maine nonprofits are among a group of 384 around that country that have been selected to share more than $4 billion worth of charitable investments.

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and the Good Shepherd Food Bank announced the news on their websites. Goodwill of Northern New England, with stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, is also listed as a grant recipient. The grants are being made possible by billionaire advocate and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

In a written statement, Scott said she was inspired to help address the economic suffering caused by the pandemic and to support organizations with strong leadership, doing vital work in under-resourced communities, especially those dealing with food insecurity, racial inequity and high poverty rates.

CEI, which finances business enterprises, provides counseling and promotes jobs and economic security, said it would be receiving an “extraordinary gift” of $10 million.

“We will steward and invest these funds with great care to advance our mission and build CEI’s capacity,” the group said on its website.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank declined to disclose the amount of its gift, which it expects to receive early next year. The food bank said more details would be released at that time.

In a statement, Good Shepherd President Kristen Miale said the investment from Scott will help accelerate the goal of ending hunger in Maine — but she says the problem is bigger than any one philanthropist can solve.

Updated 8:29 p.m. to add Goodwill of Northern New England as a recipient.