Community Spotlight – Summer Gap Feeding Program Kicks Off For The Last Time
What really makes for a great community is when people see a need and rally to do something about it. The Summer Gap Feeding Program has accomplished just that.
For those who are not familiar with the Summer Feeding Gap Program in Presque Isle, it's really quite simple. People throughout the Presque Isle community get together, volunteer, donate food, and bag them up to help feed kids who live here.
Why the Summer Feeding Gap Program?
Because of how the school schedule is set up in MSAD 1, elementary children were being left behind once the high school kids returned to school.
Just for the record, MSAD 1 School District does a wonderful job with the USDA Summer Feeding Program, but there was a one month gap where the elementary and middle school kids were not getting fed because the school district cannot run to federal food programs at the same time.
Other communities in the County have programs that fill the gap during the summer for their children, therefore, it was not necessary for a program to be set up in every community as it was in Presque Isle.
However, because of the split harvest break between Presque Isle High School and the middle and elementary schools, hundred's of kids were going without the service for part of the summer.
The last year for the Summer Feeding Gap Program In Presque Isle.
This will be the last and final year that the Summer Feeding Gap Program will be needed because MSAD 1 School Board has made the decision to end the decades' old harvest break.
Although the Summer Gap Feeding Program is ending, it will be replaced with a program provided by the USDA. So our school-aged kids won't have to go without a meal.
The Summer Gap Feeding Program is still looking for sponsors and volunteers.
Sherry Locke, Executive Director for the United Way of Aroostook County, who with Jamie Guerrette of TAMC, founded the Summer Feeding Gap Program in Presque Isle, is still looking for partners and sponsors for this years program.
Locke mentioned how the monies donated are spent,
"All of the money raised for the program goes directly into food costs. There are no administrative fees or overhead fees for this program. Every dollar goes to buy nutritious food that we can supply to these children at no charge."
The Summer Gap Feeding Program has partnered with:
- The City of Presque Isle
- Presque Isle Housing
Locke said that the program has made it easy for school-aged children to access the food program.
"We really find these children where they're at and we actually serve these lunches at the Community Center in Presque Isle as well as four locations in the housing projects here in Presque Isle."
The Summer Gap Feeding Program could use your help!
They are reaching out to individuals, businesses, and organizations within the community and asking them to help the team fill the summer gap for one last time.
Ways you can donate to the Summer Gap Feeding Program
- Financial Donations
- Food Donations
If you would like to help fill the food gap for hundreds of our school-aged children within our community, contact the United Way of Aroostook County at (207) 764-5197.
You may also email the United Way of Aroostook County at firstname.lastname@example.org.