In a nation as wealthy as ours, no one should have to go hungry, yet more than 48 million Americans, nearly 200,000 Mainers, 55,000 of which are children are living with food insecurity. Food insecurity of a measure of a families’ ability to access enough food to provide three meals a day. A food insecure means they don’t always know where their next meal will come from, or if it will be enough. The latest reports show that 1 out of every 5 Maine kids struggles with hunger – the highest child hunger rate in all of New England.
Lack of collaboration, inefficient programs, and ineffective policies are keeping resources that exist from getting to the people that need them most. The problem is complex and finding a practical way to engage can be difficult, but Full Plates Full Potential is coordinating efforts in Maine on all levels—local, state and federal—to find comprehensive, sustainable solutions to child food insecurity.
1 in 5 kids in Maine doesn’t get the food they need every day. This takes a terrible toll on their health and development and threatens their futures in profound ways. It also drags down our nation’s economy by perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
In Maine, we have the resources to bring an end to child food insecurity. At Full Plates Full Potential, we work at the federal, state and local level to bridge the gap between the resources that exist and the children that need them most. We help increase access to existing programs, maximize the efforts of charities and volunteers, build collaboration to ensure community members are working together and strengthen all of this work with university research.
Full Plates Full Potential (FPFP) is a capacity-building, collaborative project dedicated to developing and implementing strategies to end child hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development. FPFP convenes federal, state and local government stakeholders with nonprofits, faith communities and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Maine.
It’s not just about feeding every child in Maine. It’s greater than that. It’s about a quantifiable, evidence-based model to eliminate food insecurity for thousands of families across Maine. It’s about a capacity building initiative to provide Maine with the purchasing power and distribution network to systematically wipe out child hunger. It’s about rethinking how we as a state run and support our school food service programs.