Prior to the pandemic, Good Shepherd’s leaders realised that the food bank met about 78 percent of Maine’s overall food assistance needs. They estimated that total need would rise by 25% using new estimates based on the Feeding America model. To satisfy demand, this would mean delivering eight to ten million more meals than before the pandemic. They even used the model to figure out what was going on.
The analytics were then used by Good Shepherd to see how the supply of food available through specific networks, such as the US Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box programme, other federal assistance, and donated food, could influence how much food the food bank needed to buy.