RSU 23, which includes Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford Schools received grant awards for their summer meals programs. Courtesy photo

 

Full Plates Full Potential, Maine’s only statewide child hunger organization, recently announced the York County 2019 16 County Summer Grant Competition winners. Both RSU 23, which includes Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford Schools will each receive a $500 Summer Meals Program Grant to support their 2020 summer programs.

Full Plates’ 16 County Summer Grant Competition was launched to highlight the critical work summer food programs do reaching the over 80,000 children who rely on school meals for basic nutrition.

“Summer is an extremely challenging time for children affected by hunger,” she said. “Our 16 County Grant Program aims to showcase and reward the best of summer programs across our state.”

In 2019, Biddeford Schools summer meals program served 17,199 meals which is an increase of 2,793 over 2018, and RSU 23 served 7,016 meals which is an increase of 51 percent over 2018, said Anna Korsen, Full Plates Full Potential’s program director.

“Our Summer Food Program here in Biddeford is awesome,” said Sandy Lewis of Biddeford Schools. “We have support from administration, incredibly devoted staff, both from Food Service and Activity directors. We offer different choices as much as possible, the environment of each site is very important. We play music, usually have free coloring books, toothpaste, toys or stuff available for the kids to take home.”

“We partnered with Meals on Wheels out of Biddeford to help us deliver meals to students living in our neighboring town,” said Caroline Trinder of RSU 23. “This helped us reach additional schools and a housing community that we would not have been able to reach otherwise. Our library in town also offered some wonderful activities during lunch time to attract students to attend the session and eat lunch while there.”

Maine has 122 Summer Food Service Programs with 467 meal sites across the state. This summer, 727,612 meals were served statewide.

Full Plates Full Potential is on a mission to end child hunger in Maine by partnering with nonprofit advocates, local businesses and restaurants, advocating for policy changes at the state level, granting funds and providing technical assistance to schools and hosting year-around events and fundraisers. Learn more at www.fullplates.org.

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