Good Shepherd Food Bank Steps In to Keep Things Cool at Hope House

Proving that the best community partners can pivot beautifully when circumstances change, Good Shepherd Food Bank didn’t bat an eye when it learned its grant for new refrigeration at Hope House Health and Living Center wouldn’t cover the whole cost of a new cooler.

In February, Good Shepherd Food Bank awarded Hope House $29,000 for the purchase and installation of a new walk-in for the emergency shelter’s kitchen. Penobscot Community Health Care, which operates the shelter, soon found that pandemic price hikes and supply shortages had driven the price way up—to more than $41,000.

“Between inflation and supply chain delays, the price had gone up by a lot,” said Heather Blackwell, PCHC’s Grants and Development Director. “I went back to see if they would be able to help with the increased cost—they let me know they would be sending the entire difference. They are amazing partners.”

The new cooler is being installed at the Bangor shelter, which serves 50 meals three times a day.  Having a reliable cooler means the Hope House kitchen staff can dish up more fresh and healthy food to its guests.

Want to learn more about meals at Hope House? Check out this video:

About Penobscot Community Health Care

Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) founded in 1997 to ensure access to comprehensive, integrated primary health care services for all to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the Maine communities served. Seventeen practices and program service sites in the Bangor area, and in Belfast and Jackman, offer a wide range of services, including family medicine, dental, pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, medication-assisted treatment and substance use disorder services, urgent/walk-in care services, as well as specialty services such as speech, audiology and chiropractic services, retail and primary care pharmacy, and healthcare for unhoused people. Online at

About Good Shepherd Food Bank

As the largest hunger-relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank supports Mainers facing
hunger by sourcing nutritious food and distributing it to nearly 600 partner organizations across the
state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, health care centers, and senior programs. The Food Bank also supports the network of partners with capacity-building and innovation grants that improve and promote equitable and dignified access to nutritious food across the state. In 2021, the Food Bank distributed more than 31.6 million meals through its network of partners, and strategically invested $4.4 million in grants to the network of partners. The Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships and is currently leading a $250 million Campaign to End Hunger in Maine.