Full Plates Awards Nearly $83,000 in Oakhurst After School Meal Grants
January 14, 2022
To kick off the New Year, Full Plates Full Potential announced the latest round of Oakhurst After School grant recipients with grants awarded to five school systems and eight non-profits totaling nearly $83,000 in funding. These funds help eligible schools and community organizations establish sustainable and free after school meal programs for children who need them through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Grants were awarded to:
- Alfond Youth Center
- Augusta Boys & Girls Club
- Bangor Region YMCA
- Bath Area YMCA
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley
- Deer-Isle Stonington CSD
- Maine Youth Alliance/The Game Loft
- Old Town Orono YMCA
- RSU 70/MSAD 70
- RSU 10
- RSU 83/MSAD 13
- Westbrook Public Schools
- YWCA Central Maine
Launched in 2020, the Oakhurst After School Meal Grant Program initiative has, to date, provided $171,640 through 36 individual grants for new and growing after school meal programs statewide. Grants are intended to go toward costs associated with starting or expanding CACFP programs to reach more students, including covering costs related to equipment, transportation, labor, packaging, enrichment activities, and more.
“The pandemic has certainly challenged schools and enrichment programs over these last two years, and it has been wonderful to see the growth of the Oakhurst After School grant program demonstrating a clear commitment from our school and community partners to meet the after school nutrition needs of our kids, regardless of the obstacles they are facing,” said Justin Strasburger, Executive Director of Full Plates Full Potential, a non-profit working statewide to end childhood hunger. “We are incredibly thankful for Oakhurst’s continued commitment to ensuring Maine’s children have access to nutritious food.”
Origin Story of the Oakhurst After School Meal Grant Program
Recognized for doing what’s right and supporting countless community programs for 100 years, Oakhurst decided in 2016 to better focus its Giving Goodness charitable dollars so donations could make a more significant impact. Oakhurst has decided to focus on child hunger, especially because supporting healthy, active kids is a core company value.
In Maine, school lunch may be the last meal of the day for more than 80,000 children. To address this challenge in 2020, the company launched Oakhurst After School, a partnership with Full Plates Full Potential to create a statewide grant program to make sure children get the food they need after school. At the time, it was estimated that only 16% of eligible students were accessing after school meals through CACFP. Oakhurst pledged $300,000 to Full Plates to support their efforts to expand implementation of CACFP programming by providing on-the-ground technical and financial assistance to Maine community-based after school programs and schools.
“Unfortunately, many kids in Maine end the school day with lunch as the last meal of their day and that’s simply not okay,” said John Bennett, President of Oakhurst Dairy. “At Oakhurst, we want every kid to have access to the nutrition they need so they can grow, learn, and ultimately reach their full potential. We believe Giving Goodness is a team effort and are thrilled that these schools and enrichment programs are working to ensure that kids have access to food when their school day ends.”
Learn more about the Oakhurst After School meal grant program by visiting their website and reading the original press release. To apply for the next round of Oakhurst After School funding, please visit Full Plates Full Potential’s funding application page.
Oakhurst is Northern New England’s leading dairy brand and has stood behind every glass of milk and product for 100 years. While the FDA states there is no significant difference between milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone, Oakhurst made history in 2003 when it asked its milk producers to take America’s First Farmer’s pledge not to use artificial growth hormone. Today, Oakhurst remains committed to the wellbeing of its community through its Giving Goodness charitable donations to local organizations that support healthy, active kids and a healthy environment. The company produces milk and other dairy and juice products from its headquarters on Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine. In January 2014, Oakhurst became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy farmer-owned cooperative based in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.