Full Plates creates emergency fund to help feed kids during school closures

Mar 19, 2020

Portland — Full Plates Full Potential, a Maine-based nonprofit working to end child hunger statewide, has announced a Full Plates Emergency Fund to support schools and organizations statewide through grants during the COVID-19 pandemic, with resulting school closures and widespread efforts to feed adversely affected children.

The emergency fund begins with $31,000 through the support of the group's FEED KIDS partners and donations from the public.

“We have been fielding requests from schools and funders asking what Full Plates can do to help kids get meals while schools are closed,” said Justin Alfond, Full Plates Full Potential’s co-director. “The emergency fund will give critical grants to schools and organizations on the front line distributing breakfast and lunch meals. The fund gives everyone an opportunity to be generous to kids who every day rely on school as their primary source of nutrition.”

To learn more about the Full Plates Full Potential Emergency Fund or to apply for funding, go to fullplates.org/emergency-funding/.

Grants up to $1,000 will be given to schools or organizations. Grants will help pay for the increased costs of preparing more meals, safe packaging for breakfast and lunch meals, and transportation costs of distributing meals.

“School nutrition directors and their staffs are coming up with incredible solutions to get meals to their kids,” said Anna Korsen, program director at Full Plates Full Potential. “We established the emergency fund to help all of our school and organizational partners, but especially prioritizing those that cannot be reimbursed for the meals they serve."

Maine's total student population numbers 184,000, of whom 43% or 80,000 qualify for free and reduced school meals.

Schools with fewer than 50% of students eligible for free and reduced school meals are not eligible to operate the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. This will affect over 100,000 students living in communities where emergency meals will not be reimbursed by either the federal or state government.

 

 

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