Outreach is updated, involved, with food insecurity in the school population:
Guest Speaker: Judi Hilliker, Board of Directors for Tree of Life (TOL):
Judi was welcomed to the
February 8th Outreach Meeting. She updated the Outreach Committee regarding the progress of the newly established backpack program for Blue Hill Consolidated School (BHCS) and about the food donations to George Stevens Academy (GSA). Both of these programs are being managed by the Tree of Life.
The GSA program is modeled on a successful food insecurity program established with the Harbor School two years ago. A box of healthy snacks is
delivered weekly to GSA and stored in cabinets in the nurse's office. This food is available for all students. There is also food available for students to take home on weekends.
The new free and reduced lunch program at GSA is still a work in progress. The BHCS backpack program is going well. Judi reported that school board member, Amy Houghton, will be the liaison to TOL. Amy has long been involved with food inequality issues within the community.
Currently there are 26 BHCS students receiving weekend food consisting of 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 snacks. This is equivalent to what they receive with reduced meal status at school. The food is delivered to the school and teachers discreetly put the packets in students' backpacks during recess.
Funding for this program is coming from the Bectin Foundation ($5,000.00), The Odd
Fellows Blue Hill Chapter ($1,000.00), and us ($388.00 remaining from our 2017 budget).
It currently costs $50.00 - $70.00 a week to fund the BHCS program. The food comes from the Good Shepherd Food Bank and costs $0.16 /lb. TOL receives 10,000 lbs. every 2 weeks. Two thirds of the money generated to pay for this food comes from sales generated from the thrift shop (TurnStyle). The TurnStyle made $167,000.00 in 2017.
At Tree of Life, the only paid positions are 2 people for cleaning, an accountant, and snowplowing; everyone else is a volunteer.