Help the hungry



To the Editor:

September is Hunger Action month. The fall season is beginning and holidays are coming upon us faster than we may be prepared for. For many Mainers, this is a difficult time of year, particularly where food is concerned. Regrettably, too many households have to skip meals, or take other steps to eat less because they don’t have enough money for food. Unfortunately, Maine has the fourth highest rate of hunger in the nation with over 200,000 individuals experiencing food insecurity.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA member in partnership with AARP Foundation and AARP Maine, I have seen first hand the impact hunger has on the people in this state. SNAP, otherwise known as the Food Supplement Program, is one of the country’s most effective tools to address hunger and poverty. In 2011, SNAP kept 4.7 million people out of poverty, including 2.1 million children. In Maine, every SNAP dollar that is spent brings $1.79 into the local community, which helps support local farmers and grocers. In 2013, over $376 million dollars came in to our state as a result of this critical nutrition assistance.

SNAP is an excellent resource for low-income families who struggle to put food on the table. If you think you know someone who might be eligible, go to www.maine.gov/mymaineconnection or call 1-800-442-6003 to connect to your local DHHS office. Together, we can make a difference in Maine and help leave hunger in the dust.

Brooke Libby

SNAP Outreach Coordinator

Portland