Experts say sex trafficking is growing in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — When you look at sex trafficking in Maine by the numbers, it doesn’t seem like that big an issue. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reports getting 180 calls from Maine in the past 5 years. 25 of those are known cases of sex trafficking. That is, officials can prove … Read more

MAINE COMPASS: Maine’s hungry children need their lawmakers

Every summer in towns all over Maine, the families of more than 83,000 children who receive free and reduced meals during the school year must find ways to provide those extra meals for their children. Maine’s Summer Food Service Program reaches only 17.5 percent of eligible children, meaning that more than 70,000 qualifying children do … Read more

"Who's Hungry" advance visit

This week Portland Ovations hosted performance artist Dan Froot for a whirlwind visit in our fair city. Dan is the co-creator of “Who’s Hungry,” a powerful and provocative puppetry piece that gives a voice to those who suffer from food insecurity that we are presenting in April at and in conjunction with SPACE Gallery. While … Read more

Homeless group protests DHHS office move

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Advocates for the poor and homeless continued their protest Tuesday against the plan to move the state’s DHHS office out of downtown Portland. Since the plan was announced last month, the city, Democratic legislators and low income groups have complained steadily that the move will hurt people who need DHHS … Read more

Relocation of DHHS office draws opposition

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Democrats and advocates for social service agencies in Portland are protesting the proposed new location for the Department of Health and Human Services in Cumberland County. The Governor’s office says moving and consolidating the offices of DHHS and the Department of Labor in 2015 will save $14 million dollars, but … Read more

Food stamp reductions cause ripple effect in Maine

PORTLAND (WGME) — Federal stimulus money that beefed up the food stamp program years ago expired Friday. It’s called the Hunger Cliff and hunger advocates say we have fallen over the edge. Paul Trusiani has spent almost every day of the past four decades greeting customers inside his small supermarket on Congress Street in Portland. … Read more

Rep. Pingree to visit Portland soup kitchen, homeless shelter

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is visiting a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Portland. The Democratic congresswoman will visit the Preble Street soup kitchen on Wednesday. Pingree’s office says that the congresswoman will talk to three residents at the Oxford Street Shelter who haven’t been able to move into permanent housing due to mandatory federal … Read more

Our View: LePage should back bill to close student food gap

A federal program aimed at filling this gap is gaining ground in Maine. For the first time since it was launched in the 1970s, the Summer Food Service Program is providing free meals in every county in the state. The Maine Department of Education, which oversees the program here, enabled this expansion by stepping up … Read more

Feeding Maine's hungry kids: summer meal programs expand

For the first time ever, every county in Maine has free summer meal sites for kids. It’s a feat that’s taken decades to achieve, since the federal Summer Food Service Program began in the late 60s. But even in 2013, advocates say, lack of awareness is the biggest barrier between hungry kids and free summer … Read more