Pingree, Concannon visit 1 of nearly 400 summer meals sites in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Rep. Chellie Pingree joined a member of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture at one of Maine’s summer meals sites on Tuesday.

The USDA funds nearly 400 sites throughout the state where Monday through Friday, kids can get a free meal.

“The USDA, we support these meals, but it takes partnerships with the Housing Authority, with the Alliance, with Preble Street,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services with the USDA.

Concannon grew up in Portland, so Rep. Pingree wanted to show him what that funding is doing for the kids in his community.

“Kids can come and get a sandwich, they can get a good lunch, but they can also pick up a book and participate in yoga activities,” said the congresswoman.

When school is in session, students have access to school lunches, but during the summer months, that’s much more limited.

“1 out of 4 kids is experiencing food insecurity and these summer meals are sometimes the only chance these kids have to get a nutritious meal that day,” said Jan Bindas-Tenney of the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative. “I think if we can continue to replicate collaboration, public and private collaboration, then we can eventually reach all kids in Maine.”

There are nearly 400 sites all over the state, to find one near you, click here.