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Town Hall Forum to Launch DHS Hunger Project

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Town Hall Forum to Launch DHS Hunger Project
Posted on 02/26/2015

Deering High School’s freshman class in March will embark on a monthlong project-based learning initiative on hunger and food security.

During the month, teachers and students will engage in common experiences in math, English, science and social studies. In addition to a subject-based curriculum, the freshmen will be connecting with the community to "take action" through collaborative opportunities. The project will culminate in a exhibition of learning on March 27.

The project kicks off Friday, Feb. 27, with a town hall forum that includes presenters who have contributed on local, state and national levels to find solutions to childhood hunger and have worked to  create healthy, sustainable food systems. The presenters will be sharing with the students how, through their work, they are addressing the issue of hunger and food security and how the issue can be solved.

The students will be given ideas and opportunities to take action and gain an understanding that the work they will be accomplishing is relevant and can make a measurable positive change in the Portland community and beyond

The presenters slated to speak are Portland Mayor Michael Brennan; Maine Sen. Justin Alfond; a spokesperson for Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree; Maine Center for Economic Policy Director Garrett Martin; Portland Public Schools Food Services Director Ron Adams; and Cultivating Community intern and Deering senior Maryan Isack.

The presenters have all contributed on local, state and national levels to find solutions to childhood hunger and have worked to create healthy, sustainable food systems.

Mayor Michael Brennan created the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System; Senator Alfond created a state task force to end student hunger; Congresswoman Pingree wrote the 2013 Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act which became part of the 2014 Farm Bill and works to ensure USDA support of healthy eating initiatives; and Garrett Martin is a member of the Maine Hunger Initiative, which aims to make Maine an anti-hunger leader, particularly in child-related food policies.

Also, Food Services Director Ron Adams has increased  the amount of spending on local foods to 37 percent and is working to increase this amount to 50 percent; and Deering senior Maryan Isack is a Food Warrior Intern at Cultivating Community. Food Warriors work throughout the school year on health and hunger issues while gaining community engagement, leadership, and teamwork skills.)