AIO Food and Energy Assistance hires Joe Ryan as first Executive Director 

Sat, 02/20/2021 - 4:30pm

    AIO Food and Energy Assistance announced Feb. 20 its appointment of Joe Ryan as the nonprofit’s first Executive Director. 

    Established in 1990, AIO provides nutritious food and energy assistance throughout Knox County.  

    AIO’s Food Assistance Programs is more critical than ever as food insecurity in Knox County is projected to increase 46% overall, the organization said, in a news release.

    “Child food insecurity is projected to reach 28%,” said AIO. “AIO’s Energy Assistance Program helps households with heating or electricity.  Low-income residents spend proportionally more of their household finances on utilities, an average energy burden of 19% (average energy burden is 6%) leaving a lot less for rent, food, medical and other critical expenses.”

    In a statement, Ryan said: “I am so excited about the opportunity to help guide AIO’s remarkable development and importance to the community we serve. AIO is taking innovative, creative, and effective action to help those who are food and energy insecure with compassion and dignity. I am proud to be part of such a dedicated team of volunteers and staff.”

    Ryan has been AIO’s warehouse manager for the past year and comes to the organization with decades of business and non-profit experience in the community. 

    He was instrumental in shifting AIO’s operations from the old location to the new building in the Rockland Industrial Park.  His innovative approach to serving clients during the pandemic has been critical as safety has been the top concern.  AIO’s operations never ceased, and more people are being helped. 

    Ryan has established multiple shifts of volunteers to meet the growing need and to provide more food, more often.

    “Joe is the right person for the inaugural Executive Director position,” said AIO Board of Directors President Liz Jenkins. “While his skills and experience are well suited for this leadership role, his passion and commitment to our mission will help AIO stand as a model for community assistance throughout Maine and beyond. We are thrilled to have him at the helm, and proud of the unanimous vote to select Joe as our first Executive Director.”

    Joe and Ginny Ryan owned Adventure Advertising in Rockport for over 35 years. Both have been active in many community nonprofits, using the skills and capabilities of their marketing and design company to assist in operations and fundraising campaigns.

    “We have been fortunate to be able to meaningfully participate in our community through our business,” Ryan said. “This next step in my career will allow me a more immediate and intimate connection to the community and will enable me to help bring others together to do the important work of assuring everyone has the food and energy assistance they need.”

    He can be contacted at

    About AIO Food and Energy Assistance Services: 

    AIO Food distribution is provided by drive-up pickup on Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Energy Assistance is available by telephone (207-596-1043) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. to  12:30 p.m. and Monday 1 to 4 p.m.  AIO Weekend Meal kits are available by signing up through your school.  To learn more about AIO’s programs please visit