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How is my donation feeding hungry kids?

Full Plates Full Potential is working to end child hunger in Maine through our #GoBigforHunger campaign by connecting children in need to food where they live, learn and play. Hand in hand with our partners on the ground, we’ve built the foundation necessary to create lasting, transformational change. We put every dollar donated to work towards ending child hunger by creating efficient, practical, long-term solutions. In communities across the state, positive results prove our strategies are working.   We couldn’t do this important work without the financial support of our donors. Our sustainable solution to hunger connects kids to existing nutrition programs like the national school breakfast program and the summer meals program. Our role in this work is one of helping cities, towns and communities close the gap between kids who need food and the food itself. Your donation to feed hungry kids combines with others to help Full Plates Full Potential provide critical grants, supplies and technical assistance to feed more kids. It also funds our work to recruit new summer meal sites and help schools provide breakfast for kids facing hunger.

Can I Hold a Personal Fundraiser to Support Full Plates Full Potential?

Yes, Full Plates Full Potential’s welcomes all to make a difference in the lives of hungry kids in Maine. Do you love to run? Use your participation in an upcoming fitness event to fundraise and raise awareness for Full Plates Full Potential. Looking for a new way to celebrate your next birthday? Dedicate your day to ending child hunger. Do you have a group of friends who love to get together, have fun and make a difference? Then create a unique event that you can all get excited about. No matter what your special moment is, you can leverage it to do a Full Plates Full Potential personal fundraiser and encourage your friends and family to join you in the fight to end child hunger in Maine.

How can I volunteer?

There are many ways to get involved with our programming and culinary events. Whether you’re helping launch a summer meal site, recruit chefs, finding sponsors, planning logistics or work the night of an event, volunteering plays a critical role in helping us do more to help kids struggling with hunger in your community and across the state.

What can my generation do to help?

You can help make eating a celebration at school and eliminate the stigma associated with free or reduced-price lunch. You can demand that your school have open and honest conversations about student hunger and come up with a comprehensive plan. You can examine the root causes of childhood hunger (lack of health care, affordable housing, living wages, etc.) and come up with ideas on how to tackle them. Full Plates Full Potential can get the ball rolling, but you will be crucial in solving this problem in your community.

How long will it take to end child hunger?

It’s tough to quantify in years. The goal of the five-year plan is by 2020 to have increased access to nutritional food from all the USDA programs. Five years is a bold goal but we need to have an urgency around the idea that no child should be hungry.

What is needed to end child hunger?

There are a few core pieces: We need continued publicity and awareness around the depth of childhood hunger statewide. Individuals across Maine can help. We need businesses large and small, teachers, school administrators, and bloggers to tell the story of child hunger. Each community needs to develop a comprehensive plan to end child hunger. We need technical assistance and organizers on the ground helping our schools and other programs that provide access to food. We need partnership from Maine government and we need to raise money to fund best practices.

What gives you hope that we will be able to end child food insecurity in Maine?

I know we can end childhood food insecurity because so many people, organizations, businesses and government are now working collaboratively. The state of Maine has a five-year blueprint to end childhood hunger, which is being spearheaded by the Commission to End Student Hunger. Finally, the statewide Full Plates Full Potential network is connecting people and best practices and strategically granting money to end childhood food insecurity.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities to end child hunger?

Maine can end childhood hunger by increasing participation in the federal USDA programs that fund breakfast, lunch, afterschool and summertime meal programs. To increase participation, every school must do its part to understand hunger in their school and community, recognizing the link between hunger and poor academic results, and develop comprehensive plans to end hunger in school and during the summertime.   Establishing these comprehensive school plans gets to the second great opportunity: collaborating with others to end childhood hunger. When people find out that there is hunger in their schools and community, most will help. Schools can and must engage businesses, non-profits, individuals and parent associations for volunteers, more publicity and financial support.