MDI’s Backpack Program – Fighting Food Insecurity
Did you know that there is a backpack program on Mount Desert Island that provides food for students who are "Food insecure"? Food insecurity for students is a real problem. It is hard to concentrate on learning when your stomach is growling! I know this first hand, as my wife is a teacher, and we are constantly purchasing crackers for children in her classroom who are hungry.
The group that provides the food packs food on Fridays, using volunteers and the bags are then dropped off at schools on the Island. Today, March 9th, there were 42 bags prepared. Consider that... 42 children who were hungry on Mount Desert Island. That to me is a staggering number.
Once the bags are dropped off at the schools, the food is distributed discreetly into the kid's backpacks by the counselor or school nurse. The volunteers have no idea who is receiving the food. They only know the ages, as food is packed differently for younger as opposed to older kids.
In the summer, this group helps supplement camps with snacks and sends some packs home for those that need it for the weekend.
This Sunday, this group is holding a fundraiser at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor from 2-4PM. This is the annual fundraiser. There is a fantastic collection of donated live and silent auction items. There will be live music, appetizers and desserts. There is a $10.00 donation at the door to enter
The hope is that they will be able to collect enough money so they can provide teachers with snacks in their rooms so they don't have to buy the food out of their own pockets and try to keep kids caught up on lunch bills so they don't fall behind.