Androscoggin Bank’s MainStreet Foundation recently presented the $25K for Kids Grant to the Locker Project, a South Portland-based non-profit organization that connects food-insecure children in Greater Portland with nourishing food to improve their learning capacity, health, and future. The organization sources fresh food and staples from Good Shepherd Food Bank and local farms and also rescues thousands of pounds of fresh produce every week from Hannaford, Walmart and Shaw’s, to share at two dozen local schools and through partnerships with other agencies that serve children and families.
The foundation’s annual award aims to support at-risk youth by providing life’s essentials: food, shelter and security. The Locker Project was chosen from among three finalists for the grant for its commitment to addressing child hunger. In 2022 alone, the organization shared more than 480,000 pounds of fresh food and staples, with 80% being fresh produce, meat and bread. Androscoggin Bank and the MainStreet Foundation strongly support this initiative, recognizing the crucial role of diet in influencing both health and learning capacity.
In a show of support, Rebecca Swanson Conrad, board member of the MainStreet Foundation, joined Androscoggin Bank representatives Chris Lyon and Melissa Farinas on a visit to the Locker Project’s facility in South Portland to present the award. During the visit, Executive Director Kathryn Sargent provided a comprehensive tour of the space, offering valuable insights into the organization’s operations and the scope of its impact.
Elaborating on the foundation’s commitment to addressing food security, Melissa Farinas noted, “The $25K for Kids Grant seeks to improve the lives of as many kids as possible by donating to non-profits who support our mission, which the Locker Project is perfectly aligned with. I was particularly impressed by the quality of the food distributed. By sourcing some of their produce from local farmers, families are treated to the freshest fruits and vegetables available. The foundation is honored to support the Locker Project and the important work they are doing in our community.”
Executive Director of the Locker Project, Kathryn Sargent expressed her gratitude for the contribution, saying, “The $25K for Kids Grant means a great deal to the Locker Project, even beyond the funding, by recognizing that access to nourishing food is critically important for every child, every family, and every community. When kids don’t get the nutrition they need, it affects their health, learning and life outcomes. Child hunger is preventable, and Maine has made progress. But we need to do more. This funding will support our take-home food programs, which reach more than 2,500 children each year across Greater Portland. Thank you to Androscoggin Bank for supporting the Locker Project’s efforts to nourish families in our community.”
We are grateful for the connection with the Locker Project and look forward to seeing their growth in 2024.