As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Child Hunger Team would like to extend a sincere thank you to every one of you for the time, energy, and compassion you have invested in making the BackPack and School Pantry programs a success for families in your communities. Together we have served over 5,000 families more than 540,000 meals this school year – increasing food security and stabilizing lives!
Every single one of your programs is award-worthy. Still, our Child Hunger Team presents its annual School Partner Awards to several schools that have particularly shined in the following categories this school year. Please join us in congratulating them on their accomplishments!
‘Dairy’ Great Job Award – Milbridge Elementary School
Laura Thomas at Milbridge Elementary School has overseen an ‘udderly’ fantastic roll out the Milk2MyPlate pilot for students and their families! When our team called Laura offering a slot in the pilot, she decided to really ‘milk it’ for all it’s worth and began distributing the half gallons within just a few days of our initial call. Thank you Laura, for your willingness to ‘go with the flow’ with us as we learn together how to best increase the amount of milk school pantry participants are able to enjoy.
‘Keeping It Fresh’ Award – Locker Project
This year Locker Project became a partner in Hannaford Supermarkets & Shaw’s Fresh Rescue Programs – picking up at three of their local grocery stores on a weekly basis. Thanks to their commitment, they saved more than $50,000 worth of food from landfills and turned it into 24,000 nutritious meals for families in the Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook school districts. Cheers to Katie Brown and the Locker Project crew for ‘keeping it fresh’ this school year!
‘Media Maven’ Award – Spruce Mountain Primary School
From their Facebook page to hosting Paul Rudd for a nationally televised segment on ending childhood hunger, Farrah Poirier and Kevin Harrington have set PRs (personal records) in the PR world this year! Farrah and Kevin put their whole hearts into this work and the camera loves them almost as much as they love their school community. We thank you for being such amazing representatives and ambassadors for our School Pantry network here in Maine!
‘Veggie-dictorian’ Award – Ridgeview Community School
Ridgeview Community School, led by Crystal Greaves, went from only distributing dry goods last school year, to distributing more than 2 full tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to their students this year. That gives them the most improved GPA (Great Produce Accessibility) in our network!
‘Meat-ing’ The Need Award – Carrie Ricker School
Carrie Ricker School ‘butchered’ their previous protein distribution records this school year, distributing nearly 1,800 lbs of meat to students and their families. Congratulations to Melinda Nedeau and team for having the ‘chops’ to make this happen!
‘Tote’al Meals Distributed – Sanford School District
Sanford School District sure got ‘carried away’ setting ambitious goals this year. They sent home almost double the amount of food they did last year, filling those grocery totes to the very brim for students and their families. Congratulations to Ayn Hanselman, Kirsten McGarry, and all of the dedicated staff and volunteers in the Sanford School District for distributing over 36,000 meals this school year.
Most ‘Egg-cellent’ Network Engagement Award – Limestone Community School
When the Child Hunger Team is looking for a school willing to share their experiences, offer up support, or help troubleshoot– Rani Belanger and Jacqueline Tourk of Limestone Community School have always gone out of their way to be ‘over easy’ to work with. Each will be starting new adventures at new schools this fall and we already know we’ll be ‘scrambling’ without them! Best to each of you and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!
Frequent ‘Flyers’ Outreach Hero – Margaret Murphy Center For Children
Dawn Simpson at Margeret Murphy Center For Children did an incredible job getting their revitalized referral process off the runway! They’ve made sure that all of their facilities, in Auburn & beyond, are well versed in how to connect students to food through their program. Thanks to their ‘first class’ communication with both staff and families, they more than doubled their average monthly participation this school year!
‘FIFO (Friends In/Food Out)’ Community Engagement Award
The more friends supporting a school pantry, the more food it can distribute to those in need. When it comes to making friends, our partners at Ella P. Burr and Mattanawcook Jr High in Lincoln have been voted ‘most likely to succeed’ this school year! Congratulations to Patrice, Kris, Janice, Roberta, and all the new friends they’ve made on the incredible success they’ve had in engaging new community members in the fight against hunger.
‘Rural Access Rockstar’ Award – New Sweden Consolidated School
Melanie Legasse of New Sweden Consolidated School really ‘amplifies’ program impact by serving families from every town in their district– many of whom do not have local food pantries within an easy commute. With Melanie, nutritious meals are always ‘center stage’ – whether it be making meals from scratch in the school kitchen or delivering meat, produce, and canned goods to families unable to get to the school for pick-up . We appreciate your leadership in meeting the need in your communities!
‘Weekend Hunger Warriors’ Award – Food For Thought Ministries Gardiner
If you’ve ever met the members of the Gardiner Food For Thought Team you know that their passion and dedication to fighting weekend hunger in their community is nothing short of inspirational. This small but mighty battalion stepped up as our very first satellite partner for the BackPack Program back in 2012. This year, after much hard work, they grew the impact of their program by more than 25%, reaching over 100 families in the Gardiner School District. Congratulations to their team for realizing this incredible milestone!
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