UNE volunteers pack 50,000 meals for Mainers facing hunger

Over 200 volunteers from the University of New England community came together in the spirit of service on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to assemble 50,000 nonperishable meal kits for underserved communities across the state of Maine.

The event, dubbed “Meals for Maine,” was held as part of national Sept. 11 Day of Service and Remembrance events held across the country in memory of the 9/11 terror attacks. UNE was one of just 10 schools nationwide to receive funding to support the initiative.

U N E employees participate in the Meals for Mainers event

The massive effort highlighted UNE’s role in addressing the pervasive issue of food insecurity, a health concern for many in Maine and across the country. Maine is ranked first in New England and sixth in the nation for citizens facing food insecurity.

The event also sought to inspire students and others to make a difference in their communities in support of the University’s mission of improving the health of people and communities, said Trisha Mason, M.A., director of the Office of Service-Learning in the Westbrook College of Health Professions, noting that the meals assembled will be distributed across Maine with a focus on reaching older adults, children, immigrant and refugee families, and other vulnerable groups.

“I am proud and humbled by the great work done on Sept. 12, and I know that the positive impact will be far-reaching. This is an excellent example of how our students are doing their part to better the health of communities across Maine,” Mason said.

As a learning opportunity for UNE’s health professions students, “Meals for Maine” featured online educational programming. Additionally, Mason hopes to host the event annually, “putting UNE at the forefront of tackling food insecurity from a public health perspective” and supporting the state’s legislative action to end hunger in Maine by 2030.

Bonus Content

See Highlights from the Event