A $500 grant was awarded to the University of Maine Honors USA College by the Maine Hunger Dialogue to fight food insecurity in the student population.UMaine Honors College students applied for this fund based on a food insecurity research that they carried out which stated that food insecurity, which has been on the rise in the past few years, has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using the $500, the Honors College student initiative, headed by students Katie Tims and Bailey West, along with the Honors College associate dean Melissa Ladenheim aspire to provide the Black Bear Exchange campus food pantry with a sustainable amount of non-food personal care items that have been proven harder to prioritize as a result of the organization’s limited food budget. This project also aspires to create a campaign that aims at reducing the stigma of student food insecurity and raising awareness for the Black Bear Exchange.
“The goal of the Maine Hunger Dialogue is to inspire students from the state’s public and private universities and colleges, including community colleges, to learn, share ideas, network and work together to fight hunger across Maine,” says Frank Wertheim, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension associate professor of agriculture and horticulture. “Thanks to generous funding from Sodexo, the Maine Hunger Dialogue has been able to fund limited participant mini-grants to students and staff who come together to learn, share their ideas, existing programs and projects, and then work together as a network to fight food insecurity.”
The recipients of this award are expected to present the findings of their work at the 2021 Maine Hunger Dialogue which will be held in late fall at the University of Maine at Farmington.