HAMPDEN (NEWS CENTER Maine) – Working to better serve Mainers. It's the Good Shepherd Food Bank's goal with their Hampden facility reconstruction.

"The project itself will actually be retrofitting this particular facility, that was once a newspaper printing facility, into a food storage and distribution center,” says Melissa Huston, community engagement officer for the food bank.

In addition to some small building repairs, the food bank will be equipped with new fridges and freezers, to store more perishable food items in line with the food bank's nutrition policy.

"The addition of the cold storage will allow us to source more nutritious food and that food we are currently already sourcing from Maine farmers, seafood, and dairymen across the state,” says Huston. "With the addition of the cold storage, and the ability to regulate the temperature and humidity, we will be able to extend the shelf life of a lot of that produce that we've been getting in."

Their main distribution facility is in Auburn, but Huston says with these upgrades, the Hampden facility will become another place to store perishable food for the bank's partner agencies.

"This really helps us move our initiatives forward and helps us distribute as efficiently and as equitably as we can across the state."

The Good Shepherd Food Bank plans to hold an official groundbreaking on Wednesday, May 23, to mark the beginning of its reconstruction project, despite the food bank originally having opened nearly two years ago.