In this Christmas season, Jill and I are healthy, happy and grateful that all of our family members are thriving and doing well. We are at a good time … our “problems” are small and well managed. And so it is easy to have an attitude of gratitude.

We want to recognize Good Shepherd Food Bank, an important Maine organization that deserves the gratitude and support of every citizen.

Good Shepherd Food Bank protects people from day-to-day hunger in all 16 Maine counties. It organizes hundreds of volunteers to distribute to almost 200,000 Mainers every year.

Volunteers work with more than 400 smaller nonprofit partner agencies in this effort. They organize food donations from more than 200 supermarkets, wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. They distribute millions of pounds of food throughout the state to people in genuine need.

Who are these people threatened with hunger? Many are seniors living on very small fixed incomes and struggling with health issues. Many are younger and disabled. Many are people who had a few bad breaks, and were knocked from the good fortune of a productive life into the hazards of impoverishment.

And it’s not just the “poor.” Sometimes people who would be seen as middle class and working class can also experience food insecurity.

Every village, town and city in Maine is home to some people who are very quietly food insecure. You can see a “Spotlight on Seniors” interview on food insecurity in the Midcoast at www.vimeo.com/165653428.

You can help by donating your time as a volunteer at your local food bank, soup kitchen, church food pantries, neighborhood centers and homeless shelters. You can donate food to these same local centers. You can donate money directly to Good Shepherd. Giving even a small amount within your means makes a difference.

Good Shepherd makes very efficient use of your dollars. Charity Search gives Good Shepherd top ratings in financial distribution, accountability and transparency. It is an excellent and effective organization, and contributions are tax deductible.

You can mail a check to Good Shepherd Food Bank, 3121 Hotel Road, Auburn, ME 04211, or donate online at www.gsfb.org. Good Shepherd serves all Maine citizens by helping to preserve the social fabric of our state, and this is why they deserve your support.

We wish all of our readers peace and blessings, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year.