Summer meal program grows in Mid-Coast

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BRUNSWICK — Maine is the third-hungriest state in the U.S., and one in four children in the state are food insecure, according to the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

But that organization and others around the Mid-Coast, including Regional School Unit 1 and the Bath Area Family YMCA, are gearing up to provide local youths free, healthy meals throughout the summer through the federally funded Summer Food Service Program.

The nutrition program is open to youths 18 and younger, no questions asked, according to a MCHPP press release. The organization, which served more than 15,000 meals last summer, offers programming at its various food sites that include games, arts and crafts, and occasional wildlife presentations.

Curtis Memorial Library – one of MCHPP’s newer food sites at 23 Pleasant St. – starts the summer program Friday, June 30, noon-2 p.m. The public is invited to music and games, as well as a Sparks’ Ark animal presentation from noon to 1 p.m.

Other summer food sites and dates ares:

• Curtis Memorial Library, June 26-Aug. 25, lunch noon-1 p.m., Monday-Friday.

• Mt. Ararat Middle School, 66 Republic Ave., Topsham, June 26-Aug. 25, breakfast 9-10 a.m., lunch noon-1 p.m., Monday-Friday.

• Perryman Village, Perryman Drive, Brunswick, June 26-Sept. 1, lunch noon-1 p.m., Monday-Friday.

• MTM Community Center, 18 School St., Lisbon Falls, June 29-Aug. 17, snacks 10-10:30 a.m., lunch noon-1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

• Lisbon Community School, 33 Mill St., Lisbon, June 29-Aug. 17, snacks 10-10:30 a.m., lunch noon-1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, RSU 1 will provide breakfast to any child ages 2 to 18 at the Fisher-Mitchell School, 597 High St. in Bath. The program begins Monday, July 10, continuing Monday-Thursday from 8-8:30 a.m. through Aug. 3.

The YMCA’s program, open to anyone 18 and younger, takes place at 303 Centre St. Mondays through Fridays from June 26 to Aug. 25. Breakfast is served 8-9 a.m., and lunch noon- 1 p.m.

The Y during the summer of 2015 distributed 3,000 meals, a number that rose last year to nearly 5,300, when a second site at Maritime Apartments was added. Information on any additional sites this year will be posted at bathymca.org.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program and Regional School Unit 1 will provide local youths free, healthy meals throughout the summer through a federally funded food service program. The 2015 program at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham offered games and other activities along with meals.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.