“We are excited to once again sponsor the Summer Food Service Program in Bangor and to expand the program to Brewer,” says Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “More than 85,000 Maine children depend on the National School Lunch program during the school year. Despite the availability of funding from the USDA, only about 16 percent of those students receive meals during the long summer break due to a lack of awareness and accessible sites. We’re working to make sure more kids in the Bangor region have nutritious meals this summer.”
The Food Bank estimates it will reach about 230 children daily with the Summer Lunch program. The Food Bank will also be providing participating children at the Capehart meal site with bags of nutritious foods on Friday to last through the weekends when the meal sites are not open. Funding for the weekend bags was generously provided by ConAgra Foundation’s Hunger Free Summer Initiative.
“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to meet this growing need in our community,” says Catherine Hamel, director of community outreach at Bangor Housing Authority. “When we opened our doors last year, we weren’t sure what to expect, but the response was fantastic. From participants to volunteers, everyone was excited that this program was being offered and that not only were we addressing the issue of hunger, but also providing a safe place for kids to enjoy fun activities, such as gardening, reading, and fitness. This year, we look forward to including new weekly themes such as Around the World, Carnival, and Space.”
Last summer, the Food Bank sponsored three Summer Lunch sites in Bangor. Many organizations partnered with the Food Bank to expand the program this summer in Bangor and Brewer, including Bangor Housing Authority, Bangor School System, Bangor YMCA, Bangor Public Library, Maine Department of Education, Healthy Maine Partnerships, United Way of Eastern Maine, Maine Hunger Initiative, and Brewer Housing Authority.
Meals will be provided to all children under age 18 without charge. Meals are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.
For more information about the Summer Food Service Program, please contact Shannon Coffin at (207) 782-3554 x 1163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For statistics on poverty and hunger, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara McConnell Whitney at (207) 782-3554 x 1166 or email@example.com.
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About Good Shepherd Food Bank
The largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for people facing hunger by acquiring donated and purchased food and distributing it to more than 600 local partner agencies across the state. Since 1981, the Food Bank has partnered with businesses, civic groups, farmers and other nonprofits to alleviate hunger and build community relationships. In 2012, the Food Bank distributed 13 million pounds of food to families struggling with hunger in Maine.
Phone: (207) 782-3554