strengthen, uplift and integrate people struggling with food insecurity

Food pantries to bring leadership program to Rockland

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 10:30am

ROCKLAND — Area Interfaith Outreach and Good Shepherd Food Bank will be teaming up to bring the Building Advocates Leadership Program to the greater Rockland community this fall. 

The Building Advocates Leadership Program is designed to strengthen, uplift and integrate voices of community members who are struggling with food insecurity into a statewide advocacy movement to end hunger. Over the course of the program, participants will build community, strengthen their skills in public speaking, and learn how to effectively use their personal stories as tools for change.

The program will be co-led by a team including Good Shepherd Food Bank staff, AIO volunteers, and mentors from the local community.  

“We are beyond excited to start this program in the Rockland area,” said Megan Taft, BALP program director for the Good Shepherd Food Bank, in a news release. “The program aligns with our goal to ensure that all Mainers have access to the nutritious food they need. We’re working with communities across the state to build an advocacy movement that includes the voices of all Mainers, with particular attention to those who are most impacted by Maine’s high rates of food insecurity.”

Additional supporting partners include, Penquis, Maine Equal Justice, and Toastmasters.

“If you are someone who uses the services of area food pantries or receives meals from the daily lunch locations, we would love to have you participate in this program,” said Liz Jenkins, board president for Area Interfaith Outreach, in the release. “We are looking for participants who wish to play an active role in addressing food insecurity in their own families, as well as in our community. Additionally, if you are someone who cares deeply about your neighbors receiving adequate access to food, please consider becoming a mentor with the Building Advocates Leadership Program.”

Childcare and transportation vouchers will be available to support participation.

For more information, visit Building Advocates Leadership Program, or contact Megan Taft, BALP program director for Good Shepherd Food Bank at


About Area Interfaith Outreach:
Organized in 1990 by Rockland area congregations, Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO) provides a place where people in need can go for nourishing food or heating assistance within Knox County. The organization provides three programs: a food pantry, child hunger program (backpack and in-school food pantries), and a heating assistance program. 

About Good Shepherd Food Bank:
As the largest hunger-relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to more than 400 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. In 2018, the Food Bank distributed more than 25 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine.