Recap of the Summit to End Childhood Hunger on October 4th, 2016
The leadership council at Full Plates Full Potential would like to thank everyone who attended the first Summit to End Childhood Hunger in Waterville, Maine, at Colby College. We are so excited that we had over 100 attendees from all 16 counties in Maine converge to tackle childhood hunger in our state.
The day focused on how everyone—school administrators, school nutrition directors, parents, childcare providers, teachers, food providers, etc.—can collaborate in getting food to every child in Maine. Conference participants shared ideas and best practices that can be implemented all over the state. Many food service directors shared advice on structuring breakfast, summer meals, and after school meals in order to minimize learning disruptions, reduce stigma and increase participation.
The president of Colby College, David A. Greene, opened the summit by talking about college access for low-income students. Laura Pineo, the school nutrition director for SAD 54, talked about her personal experience with food insecurity and how she’s dedicated her life to reducing hunger in her area. Senator Justin Alfond introduced Full Plates Full Potential and filled everyone in on the evolution of the organization.
Allison Daugherty, school nutrition director in Unity, talked about how the Summer Food Program works in her region. Jody Truman, school nutrition director at Oxford Hills, talked about how alternative breakfast models help feed more kids in her schools. After hearing from Allison and Jody, each of the regional tables spent twenty minutes talking about summer meals and breakfast programs, sharing ideas and best practices with each other.
After the initial discussions, Ken Walsh of the Alfond Youth Center presented on how his center has successfully been able to implement the Child and Adult Care Food Program throughout the years. Bill Williamson, President of Bank of America in Maine, shared his company’s thoughts on how the private sector can play a role in the fight against poverty. Another twenty-minute discussion followed, allowing each regional table the opportunity to discuss the impact in their regions.
The summit paused for a twenty-minute lunch break, allowing just the same amount of time school students are given to eat lunch. Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, took the stage to talk about the federal nutrition programs and Maine’s immediate need for action. Founding member and active leader of Full Plates Full Potential, John Woods, ended the day with a short speech on how breakfast programs benefit all students regardless of age or economic income.
More Summit Materials available here: