In a Small Island in Maine, Heroes Serve School Meals
By Diego Alonso, No Kid Hungry
March 21, 2022
Deer Isle-Stonington is a small island off the shores of Maine connected to the mainland only by a narrow suspension bridge. For generations, the community has relied on lobstering and seafaring as the main source of income.
Sheila Nevells, food service coordinator for the local elementary school and high school, comes from a long line of Deer Isle residents. She is proud of her close-knit community.
“When push comes to shove, everybody comes together to help their neighbors out,” she said.
The last few years have been difficult for the small island community. The pandemic disrupted the lobster industry and families continue to struggle with the high cost of living caused by the remoteness of the island. Sometimes they have to drive over 40 miles to reach the closest supermarket.
Nevells explained that members of the community support each other to get groceries and ensure everybody is taken care of. But, like in many communities in America, some parents experience challenges with alcoholism and substance abuse with extended family members stepping in to help their kids. In this close-knit community people take care of each other through these challenges.