Hunger - 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

Messalonskee Middle School

Team Pemaquid

Grades 7 and 8

Scroll down to see the video!

The Issue: Hunger

The Question: How can we help prevent hunger in our school and community?

Community Partners and Stakeholders:

  • School Lunch Program- William D. Hamilton MS, RD, SNS, Nutrition Director RSU No. 18
  • Farm to School Committee- Clair Heffernan chair
  • Community Raised Bed Co-ordinator Tom Pullen
  • Summer School Free Lunch Program
  • Faculty and Students from the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Bonnie Sammons- master gardener

Facts (and Resources) Learned that Influenced Your Thinking:

  • One out of five kids= 16 million struggle with hunger
  • Childhood hunger is linked to developmental, behavioral and academic problems
  • Video: A Place at the Table
  • Data on GMOs and Fake Foods
  • Fast Food Nation

Plan of Action:

  • Research on an area dealing with hunger and nutrition
  • Create informational projects for school population: bulletin board in hall, posters, websites, podcasts
  • Build fairy houses on trail to inform the elementary students about issues around food
  • Run taste tests on healthy food choices for breakfast and snacks
  • Build a hoop house (greenhouse) and refresh community raised beds
  • Plant seeds and grow seedlings to transplant into the raised beds
  • Harvest vegetables to donate to summer school lunch program, community food bank, and team lunch and snack shack
  • Apply for a larger greenhouse to increase harvest for the whole school

Results:

  • Fairy houses built and places on trail with informational signage
  • Ran taste tests that students enjoyed using fruits and vegetables
  • Informational posters and bulletin boards up and read by many students
  • Seedlings grown and waiting for planting outside
  • Hoop house up and raised beds made/refreshed
  • Seeds planted

Ongoing support needed:

  • Students and community members to harvest, water, and weed garden beds over the summer
  • Food service program to wash and prepare food for students
  • Grant money to buy supplies to continue this work next year and/or expand our garden

Entire Team Pemaquid (84 students)

Focus crew:

Gabby Wood-McGuckin-8 Ryan Pullen-8

Hunter Smart-8 Julia Cooke-8

Noah Cummings-8 Magan Williams-8

Seth Main-8 Isaac Violette-7

Hannah DelGiudice-7 Eli Ross-7

Parker Brunelle-8 Leighara McDaniel-7

Teachers:

Kim Fish

Amanda Ripa

Linda Haskell

Names of people who made the video:

Kim Fish

Gabby Wood-McGuckin

Thoughts about this experience:

This unit has brought up conversations at home because it's a project that is very personal to me. - Julia Cooke

We wanted to get a hoop house and grow food because there are a lot of people in our community that don't have enough food or at least healthy food they can eat due to the expense. -Peyton Arbor

We realized a lot of people in our school have choices at lunch, but they don't always like the choices left by third lunch. If we can grow food, then we can provide more choices on the salad bar with fresh food from our garden, then the kids might actually like it. - Noah Cummings

This project has given the students a voice in the community and has made them feel that they can make a difference. Several students plant to try gardens at home as well. Many are eagerly awaiting the first harvest in the summer. They are very proud of their work.