As Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program strives to advance our mission of making nutritious food more readily accessible to all members of our community, working together is key.

This month, a collaboration between MCHPP’s soup kitchen and numerous partner organizations is set to provide increased access to free meals for members of the greater Brunswick community experiencing food insecurity.

People Plus is now over one month into offering its members a warm soup, prepared in MCHPP’s kitchen, on Mondays, and the feedback is positive. Collaborations like this bring back a chance for folks to sit and enjoy a meal together at a familiar and comfortable community location, something many are craving after years of pandemic social distancing.

Independence Association will offer bagged lunches to its service users as well as any member of the community on Thursdays. Acting Executive Director Brett Bulmer shared that they “are thrilled to work with MCHPP in helping provide options for healthy food to people in the Brunswick area. This is not only an opportunity to further build upon the diversity of MCHPP, but it is also a way to support people with disabilities in making a meaningful contribution to our community.”

MCHPP has had success with doctor referrals, which improve access and awareness and create a link for positive health outcomes.

“Soon after MaineHealth launched the Find Help program, I referred two patients with very different food security needs to MCHPP,” said Dr. Ian McConnell. “The Find Help process could not have been easier for me as a busy medical provider to complete, and my patients seamlessly accessed services that immediately impacted their health and well-being.”

Recently, MCHPP worked with numerous partners, including the Town of Brunswick, United Way of Mid Coast Maine, the Immigrant Resource Center and many more to ensure New Mainer families moving into apartments at Brunswick Landing would have fully stocked refrigerators and pantries on day one in their new homes. The effort turned a potentially emergent situation into a positive experience for all involved, as MCHPP staff stocked all 23 apartments with pantry staples, fresh produce and flyers about MCHPP services in various languages so families would know where to turn for food assistance going forward.

We are so fortunate to work in a community that is full of vibrant and capable partners, both in the nonprofit and for profit sectors, with whom we can work to develop mutually beneficial services that work for all residents of Midcoast Maine.

Alyssa Schoppee is development director for Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. Giving Voice is a weekly collaboration among four local nonprofit service agencies to share information and stories about their work in the community. 

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