Heart-wrenching hunger facts:
- According to the USDA, Maine ranks 18th in the nation and #1 in New England in terms of child food insecurity.
- Food insecurity has increased by 50% over the past decade.
- Over 25% of children in our local communities are eligible for free or reduced lunches and possibly go home hungry on weekends. In fact, as much as 35% of students in one of our own schools are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
How is hunger affecting our own community?
Here is some food for thought:
Can you imagine what hunger; true excessive hunger can do to an adult let alone a child? Not only are there the physical symptoms of hunger such as depression and difficulty sleeping, but also the behavioral and educational symptoms as well.
More importantly, can you imagine the greater healthy impact upon our children if not one child went home hungry or came to school hungry Monday morning? Think of the improvements in behavior, attention span, peer relationships and learning in school. Now, imagine the positive impact those children can also have in our communities.
What can we do about the problem of hungry children in our communities?
Answer: Food for Thought – Backpack Program
A team of local businesses in the Kennebunks (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel) teamed up with Community Outreach Services (COS) of Kennebunk to develop a program to feed needy children in RSU 21. We call it the Food for Thought – Backpack Program. This program is designed to simply offer eligible children a bag of food for the weekend. Our goal is to launch distribution to children in the Fall of 2015. According to the math, $250 will feed a child over the weekend for an entire school year. If we are looking to end this hunger problem, we need community support!
Please note: To eliminate food insecurity for all the children who qualify in our RSU 21 schools, it would cost a huge amount- $125,000; however, in order to launch the Food for Thought – Backpack Program in the fall of 2015, we have set as our initial goal to raise $20,000. This is our immediate need to start eliminating food insecurity in one of our schools. We are going to start by focusing our effort on the Mildred L. Day School, which has the largest percentage of children in need. Every dollar you donate will go directly to purchasing food for children. Your donation of $250 will help sponsor a child for the entire year. Once we are successful there, we are going to bring the backpack program to the other schools in the RSU 21 district. We hope to gain momentum as our community becomes more aware of our effort and partners with COS and the Food for Thought team.
The hunger problem in Maine is REAL. And yes, we have a hunger problem right here in our own community. Children going home hungry in our community is REAL…
But . . . The Food for Thought – Backpack Program IS REAL HELP! Won’t you help us?
For only $250 you can sponsor a child for an entire year of weekend-meals through this program. If you are unable to give that much, any amount will help and we are grateful for your contribution. Thank you!
To help sponsor a child you can donate online by clicking the button below.
You can also mail a check to the address below (please identify “Food 4 Thought” on the memo line of the check).
Community Outreach Services
P.O. Box 1175
Kennebunk, ME 04043
-your donation to COS for the Food for Thought Backpack Program is a tax-deductible gift. COS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.