Maine Service Instigators

decorative vector imageBe the change! Service Project Support Grants focus on food insecurity

Application deadline: Friday, March 5

Project completion deadline: Sunday, May 2

Project report deadline: Friday, May 21

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This service project support grant ($750-$1,000) for Maine Service Instigators challenges groups of middle and high school-aged youth to 1) investigate the root causes of hunger and food-insecurity in their communities; and 2) design and conduct a service project related to what they discover.

Projects must be completed by May 2, 2021 and a report of the effort submitted by May 21, 2021. To be eligible for consideration, an application must be submitted by a nonprofit, school district, or public agency associated with the youth group. No awards will be made to individuals. The application deadline is March 5, 2021.

Covering basic needs

Like so many issues facing community residents, food insecurity requires two kinds of responses. The first is about compassion for our neighbors whose resources do not cover basic needs, especially food. The second response arises out of understanding the causes of food insecurity. Is it job loss? Is it fixed retirement income? Is it the nutrition needs of chronic illnesses or medical costs that get priority in household budgets? Exactly how much and what types of food will SNAP ($2.40 per meal) or WIC cover? The complexity of food-insecurity means there are many, many questions to ask and issues to understand.

More than one third of Maine’s households are have incomes below living-wage, meaning they are either experiencing or at risk for experiencing hunger.  40% of these households include seniors and more than half of them are in the most rural counties – Aroostook and Washington. That is 185,000 people in our state who live with food insecurity. All these issues have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in many people becoming unemployed or losing hours at their jobs.


Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation Logo

This program is co-sponsored by Volunteer Maine (the state service commission) and the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The mission of the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation is to support various programs throughout the State of Maine, and beyond when appropriate, that will enhance the lives of individuals and communities with Masonic ties. There are over 180 Masonic Lodges across Maine. Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternity of men who are looking to improve themselves and their communities.