Hunger, Homelessness - Messalonskee Middle School: SSC 2015

Subject: Hunger, Homelessness, Poverty
Themes: Food & Health Homeless Rights Young Activists 21st Century
Age groups: Elementary School Middle School
Resource type: Video

Samantha Smith Challenge

Messalonskee Middle School

Grades 7 and 8

Scroll down to see the video!

The Issue: Homelessness, Hunger, Poverty

The Question: How can we work together in conjunction with the Maine State Government to reduce homelessness, hunger, and poverty in our state?

Community Partners and Stakeholders:

  • Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter
  • Johnny's Selected Seeds
  • State and Local Government Officials

Facts Learned that Influenced Your Thinking:

  • One in eight families in Maine is living in hunger/poverty.
  • Maine has 43% more poverty than every other state.
  • The two biggest causes of homelessness are lack of affordable housing and loss of jobs.
  • Maine is the third most hungry state.

Plan of Action:

  • Research
  • BakeSale
  • Share MMHS brochures in our community
  • Bird House on MMS Trails

Results:

  • We will be planting a garden of peas and green beans at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.
  • Residents will plant with us to be able to sustain the garden after we're gone and use the crops in their cooking.

Ongoing support needed:

We just need the snow to melt to be able to actually go plant at the MMHS and hang our birdhouse on the trails.

Students:

Adam DeWitt (Grade 8) Ainsley Corson (Grade 7)

Alysan Rancourt (Grade 7) Chase Veregge (Grade 8)

Connor Collins (Grade 7) Emma DiGirolamo (Grade7)

Eve Lilly (Grade 7) Hannah Cummings (Grade 7)

Hunter Atwood (Grade 8) Jordan Devine (Grade 7)

Josie Varney (Grade 8) Katie Luce (Grade 7)

Madison Jewell (Grade 7) Makenzie Smith (Grade 7)

Matthew Dostie (Grade 7) Molly Glueck (Grade 7)

Myranda Wohlford (Grade 7) Paige Lilly (Grade 7)

Teacher: Lindsay Mahoney

Quotations from Students:

  • "There are a lot more homeless people in our community than I expected. The homeless shelters need more help and resources than they have. It was a good learning experience because I learned how to help people right now in our state."
  • "It was fun because it wasn't school work; we got to go out in the community and change an issue that is affecting our area."
  • "I like that we are making a difference by helping the homeless shelter and not just learning about it."
  • "We learned to look at problems in the world/our community and figure out how we could solve them, not rely on others to solve them for us."