As the only statewide child hunger organization solely focused on ending child hunger, Full Plates Full Potential connects leaders from state and local agencies, nonprofits, schools, and advocacy organizations to inform, engage, and inspire action to promote food access and nutrition to all children in Maine. We explore the causes of hunger and offer strategic outreach, advocacy, and partnership in a hands-on sustainable approach to address hunger and nutrition in Maine and to make our communities healthy and hunger-free.
15.8 percent of Maine households or nearly 200,000 people are food insecure. 21 percent, or 1 in every 5 children, are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to enough food to provide healthy meals for their family. Maine ranks 1st in New England in terms of child food insecurity.
The negative impacts of food insecurity on the health and well-being of children is well documented. For example, children living in a food insecure household:
As the leader in the fight to end childhood hunger in the state, Full Plates Full Potential knows that a key strategy for combating hunger and food insecurity is to increase participation in federal nutrition programs. For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduces food insecurity by 30 percent and children with access to food stamps experienced higher high school graduation rates and lower negative health outcomes, as compared to children in communities without access to this vital safety net program. For example, high school completion rates are 18 percent higher and obesity rates are 16 percent lower.
The federal and state nutrition programs (including School Breakfast Program, School Lunch Program, Summer Nutrition Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program) are vitally important. Yet, these programs are not reaching as many children as they should.
To increase participation, Full Plates Full Potential and our partners work to raise awareness about these programs, raises funding and brings innovative solutions to make it easier for children to access the programs for which they are eligible.
Contact us (email@example.com) for more information or to get your business or organization involved today.
- Technical Assistance: We can help you and your organization navigate the barriers with the federal child nutrition programs and develop solutions that enable you to maximize participation.
- Direct Outreach: We can help develop and implement strategies for direct outreach to your community to increase awareness of the availability of child nutrition programs.
- Direct Funding: Our online cause marketing and civic crowdfunding initiative is designed for engaging businesses of all sizes and industries to take action toward ending child hunger in Maine.
- Education: We lead informational sessions about the federal child nutrition programs including eligibility, participation and best practices for implementation.