The Problems


1 in 4 Maine Kids are Not Getting the Food They Need.

The USDA school nutrition programs were first established over 50 years ago. As a result, old and ever changing government policies, bureaucracy, decentralization and lack of awareness has allowed barriers to exist that are preventing kids from accessing programs that provide meals all year long.

Child hunger exists even though the USDA Child Nutrition Programs are fully funded and are designed to feed every hungry child, every meal, every day. Our work is focused on removing the barriers that prevent a child from finding a nutritious meal when they need one.

Child Hunger Facts
  • Maine has the 3rd highest rate of very low food security in the nation, and the highest in New England.
  • A quarter of a million Mainers use SNAP to meet their basic food needs. 46% of SNAP households in Maine have children.
  • 87,346 (46%) of all Maine students qualified for free or reduced priced school meals in the 2016 school year.
  • Only 22% of the eligible Maine students accessed community summer meals sites in the summer of 2016.
  • The federal government sets aside funding to feed every hungry child. Maine schools leave over $50 million unused each year that could be used to reduce student hunger.

Hunger threatens our children and our state's future. 

3 out of 4 teachers say their students regularly come to school hungry.

Kids who eat school breakfast

  • miss less school
  • get better grades
  • are more likely to graduate high school