By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,206)
The City’s Health and Human Services Department has a received a $50,000 grant from the National League of Cities intended to create programs providing children with after school and summer meals according to a press release issued by Jessica Grondin, city spokeswoman today.
This grant will support ongoing efforts to expand summer meal programs across the City and to break new ground by establishing programs that provide nutritious meals for children after school as well.
During the summer in Portland there are over 15 sites where any child or teen 18 or under can enjoy a nutritious lunch at no cost. The grant will help boost awareness of those locations and will support efforts to host educational and recreational activities to those sites.
In addition to $50,000, Portland will receive customized technical assistance, access to best practices and national experts and opportunities for peer learning as they build and expand programs to bring meals to children. Preble Street’s Maine Hunger Initiative has also received a smaller companion grant to and from the same program in order to help ensure and amplify the success of the project.
Portland was one of ten cities selected as part of a new technical assistance cohort.
“The cities chosen should be commended for their commitment and wikllingness to do the hard work to reduce child hunger in their commnities. We know that when children don’t have access to quality meals it affects their ability to learn and their classroom participation. It is imperative that more cities take advantage of federal resources to implement programs that give children access to meals,” said Clarence Anthony, Executive Director, at the National League of Cities.