In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s leading hunger-relief organization, opened a Hampden-based food distribution center. Guests toured through the facility following a ribbon cutting event. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to

In communities throughout Maine, many are confronted with the painful daily reality of not being able to access enough food for themselves and their families. 

House Majority Leader Maureen Terry, the sponsor of Maine’s LD 1046, An Act To Create an Income Tax Return Checkoff for Hunger Prevention, that was passed in July 2021, reports that nearly 1 in 10 Mainers are currently experiencing hunger, including 1 in 6 children.

There are ways to help: Donate to your local food pantry. Volunteer at a local program that helps feed people. File your taxes! Mainers now have a new opportunity to help efforts to end food insecurity by simply checking a box on their state tax forms. 

For the first time, there’s an option on Form 1040ME for taxpayers to donate a portion of their refund to support the Emergency Food Assistance Program Fund (TEFAP) (or to respond to a request to mail in the amount if no refund is owed to the taxpayer.) Just select an amount on line 8 of Schedule CP of Form 1040ME. TEFAP provides emergency food assistance for low-income folks at no cost, supporting our most vulnerable and helping to create a hunger-free Maine for future generations.

Sara Lambert Bloom