HAMPDEN, Maine — The state's largest hunger-relief organization is in its final push to help get healthier food to Mainers in need.

Good Shepherd Food Bank on Tuesday announced it has received a $500,000 matching grant from Susan and Fritz Onion. The grant will help the food bank reach its $5 million goal for renovations to the Hampden facility. 

Good Shepherd bought the building four years ago. It serves as a distribution center for food pantries throughout northern, central and downeast Maine. When complete, the facility will be able to serve 10 million more meals to area residents.

"The centerpiece of this facility is the new cold storage," said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. "The capability that will have here is three state of the art temperature and humidity controlled coolers that will allow us to store produce, especially local produce, that will allow us to have that healthy food all year. Plus we will also have a very large freezer that will allow us to store lightly processed meat, seafood and produce."

To help Good Shepherd meet its goal, you can go to gsfb.org/Hampden.

In Maine, 14% of households are food insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough nutritious food. Food insecurity forces people to skip meals and restrict their diets to low-cost, unhealthy foods. 

There will be a grand opening in September to celebrate the completion of the facility is being planned.

Learn more about Feed Maine at feedmaine.org.