Donations sought for student-led Maine Day Meal Pack-out

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Donations are being sought for the Maine Day Meal Pack-out at the University of Maine on May 2.

In meal pack-out events, campus and community volunteers pack meals that are then given to food banks and community organizations that feed the hungry.

The goal of this year’s event is to contribute as many meals as possible to Maine’s food-insecure community while raising awareness about food insecurity and promoting experiential learning of service activism, according to student organizer Jack Brown.

The event will be held at 9 a.m. in the New Balance Student Recreation Center. It is organized by UMaine students, including those from the Honors College Student Advisory Board, UMaine Student Government, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Senior Skulls.

As of the end of March, the students had raised $14,500 to cover the cost of food for about 58,000 meals. They hope to raise enough for 75,000–100,000 meals. Donations are being accepted online.

Volunteers also are needed to pack meals during the event. Registration is available online through the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism.

In 2017, UMaine surpassed Harvard University to set a record for the most meals packed by a New England university during one event. The Hungry 100K: Maine Day Meal Pack-out also placed UMaine among the top 10 organizations in the country and fourth in New England, along with groups including AARP and United Way, for most meals packed. More than 250 volunteers helped pack 107,500 meals — about 5.5 tons of food.

Community-based organizations looking to obtain meals that are packed during the event should email Caroline Spangenberg at caroline.spangenberg@maine.edu.

For more information about the event, email Brown at james.s.brown@maine.edu or Melissa Ladenheim at melissa.ladenheim@maine.edu.