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Food for thought

alt-ed-harvest-03.jpgMore children in the Sebasticook Valley region have access to nutritious food options throughout the year thanks to a two-year grant provided by Kohl’s and awarded to Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. The grant aims to increase the number of students who receive food security resources in Penobscot and Somerset counties by September 2019.

“We have been pleased with what we have been able to accomplish in the first year after receiving this grant,” said Sherry Tardy, director of business development for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Thanks to this generosity, we have been able to create more options for food insecure youth, as well as strengthen existing partnerships.”

Some programs that have been funded in just the first year include starting food pantries at Warsaw Middle School, Nokomis High School, and Sebasticook Valley Middle School; partnering with four local farms to create a food voucher program for students; packing and delivering 400 backpacks to area schools at Thanksgiving, Christmas, February vacation, and April vacation with food; as well as establishing community gardens and food education classes at area schools.

Sharon Kimball, community health grants specialist at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, shares that the momentum is anticipated to continue into this next year of the grant program. “In year two, we will continue to support area schools with food pantries, greenhouses, and gardens, in an effort to create additional sustainable food streams for the students.”

For more information about this grant, visit kohlscaresaboutme.org. or www.facebook.com/KohlsCaresMaine.