CARIBOU, ME — Catholic Charities Maine (CCM) announced today that it has received a major grant of $77,500 from the Walmart Foundation to introduce a pilot program in Aroostook County that would increase local access to nutritious vegetables, reduce food insecurity and improve food sustainability in northern Maine.
The funds will be used to work with local landowners Martie and James Pritchard to farm fresh vegetables initially on three acres of their land in Presque Isle with the option to add acreage in the future. In addition, the grant will allow CCM to partner with Northern Girl in Limestone for flash-freeze processing to ensure nutritious options for those served by its food banks all year-long, not just during the growing season.
“We are very pleased and grateful that the Walmart Foundation has so generously provided these much needed funds to start a program that will impact so many families in a healthy way,” said Stephen P. Letourneau, Catholic Charities Maine CEO. “Our two food banks serve 25 pantries in the County, feeding more than 25,000 people and this grant will enable us to increase the amount and quality of the food we are able to provide to folks, and hopefully encourage healthier eating habits overall.”
“This will help us develop true independence, providing locally grown and easily accessed fresh vegetables based on the efforts of the communities we serve.” adds Home Supply & Food Bank Director Dixie Shaw.
Catholic Charities Maine is one of ten Catholic Charities USA agencies selected to receive funds from the Walmart Foundation grant.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made an historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the United States. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org
About Catholic Charities Maine
For more than 45 years, Catholic Charities Maine has provided high-quality, community-based, social services to people of all faiths, beliefs, and economic backgrounds. As one of the largest human service agencies in the state, we are committed to helping children and adults overcome adversity and achieve self-sufficiency. To learn more, please visit www.ccmaine.org or call 1-800-781-8550.