HYDE SCHOOL SENIORS Austin Wang, left, and Steven Dwight help out at the Good Shepherd Food Mobile as par t of the Bath school’s community service efforts.

HYDE SCHOOL SENIORS Austin Wang, left, and Steven Dwight help out at the Good Shepherd Food Mobile as par t of the Bath school’s community service efforts.

BATH

As part of Hyde School’s community service program, Hyde has forged a partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Mobile that will last through this school year.

Many students and faculty had already been lending their time to helping out the Food Mobile, the local program administered by Grace Church that offers free food to needy families in the Midcoast.

So when Head of School Don MacMillan went to look for a program to work with, the Food Mobile came immediately to mind.

“We’re very happy to be working with the Food Mobile,” MacMillan said. “It is a great experience for the students and faculty to donate their time and do something to support the wider community. We look forward to the fundraising efforts to come.”

Near the end of each month, the Good Shepherd Food Mobile rolls into the parking lot of Grace Episcopal Church in Bath. The sides of the truck roll up, tables come out and volunteers from Grace, from the larger Bath community and from Hyde School pull out boxes of frozen meat, fresh produce, yogurt, eggs, and packaged groceries of all kinds.

Funding and participation come from all over the community, and the city recognized the Good Shepherd Food Mobile as Community Project of the Year in 2011.

Hyde students are particularly important to the effort.

As people get ready to go around the truck and choose what they need, students approach and ask if they would like help carrying their box. The boxes can get heavy, and the help is crucial to many Food Mobile users.

“Hyde students come from all over the United States and all over the world,” The Rev. Michael Ambler, the rector at Grace, said. “They see an aspect of this community at the Food Mobile that they might not see otherwise: They see that there’s real need, and also real generosity. Their own generosity, as they carry boxes and talk with community members, is heartwarming for everyone involved.”

The Food Mobile is at Grace the last Tuesday of every month (expect December, when it comes a week earlier) from 2 to 4 p.m. Food is offered to anyone in need.

Members of the community are invited to contribute toward the cost of a truck, or to come and help.

“One of the things I value most about the Food Mobile is that there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them,’” Ambler said. “It’s not unusual for a volunteer to slip away for a moment when their group is called, and fill a box for their own needs. The Food Mobile brings the whole community together.”

Hyde has also pledged to raise $1,000 for the Food Mobile which will cover the cost for one truck. That $1,000 buys almost $9,000 worth of food through the food pantry for those in need.


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