AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal announced Friday a commitment of $2 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding to DACF’s Food Security Network Reimbursement Program.
The program, which will be administered by Catholic Charities Maine on behalf of DACF, offers up to $10,000 in reimbursements to food banks and pantries that have accrued unanticipated expenses while working to overcome food supply and distribution challenges caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The funding will help Maine food security organizations address supply chain disruptions, food storage, distribution infrastructure limitations, and public health and safety challenges — all in direct response to the pandemic.
“Families across our state are struggling to keep food on the table because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Governor Mills. “We hope these additional federal funds bolster the efforts of organizations who have worked so hard to keep families fed during these challenging times. I encourage all eligible organizations to access this Food Security Network Reimbursement Program to help them respond to rising demands for food, especially during these holiday months.”
“We recognize that Maine food banks and pantries are responding to unprecedented demand and many have incurred many unexpected costs associated with trying to serve hungry Mainers, while also adhering to public health and volunteer and worker safety practices,” said Commissioner Beal.
“Many of these organizations work with limited resources to provide critical support to their communities. With this important program, the Department is helping these food security organizations recoup unbudgeted expenses caused by the pandemic,” added DACF Bureau of Agriculture Director Nancy McBrady.
Complete CARES Act Food Security Network Reimbursement Program (CFDA# 21.019) information is available on Catholics Charities Maine Grant Programs webpage.
This funding can be used to reimburse equipment purchases, capital projects/improvements, and other eligible costs incurred between March 1 and December 18.
The application deadline is December 18, 2020, and funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants.