October 17, 2017
50 students from a variety of heath profession programs at the University of New England donated food and volunteered their time at the Boys & Girls Club in Portland, Maine.
The Westbrook College of Health Professions Offices of Service Learning and Intercultural Student Engagement brought students from Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Dental Medicine, Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy and the Nutrition Club together to collect nonperishable food items to donate to the Boys & Girls Club food pantry, which provides meals for the 200 children who come to the club each day. Students donated more than 100 food items as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
A representative from the Good Shepherd Food Bank joined directors from the club in teaching the UNE students about food insecurity in Maine, explaining that about 70 percent of the children who come to the club require meals and about 20 percent are homeless. The students asked questions about what they can do to help and what needs to be changed within the system to ensure that kids don't have to experience the struggle of food insecurity. After the presentations, the students joined the children for pizza and games.
“It was a really humbling learning experience,” said Chelsea Paul (D.P.T., ’18).” I think that everyone who was there will look at Portland a little differently. We have a really special opportunity, and a very strong desire as healthcare professionals, to help people. The event made me even more excited to be a UNE student, and more specifically, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student. This is a very special place full of dedicated people ready to do as many good things for the world as we can. I am proud to be part of this community.”
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