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September 11, 2023

As part of 9/11 day of service, UNE to pack 50K meals for Mainers

Aerial view of college campus in Biddeford Courtesy / University of New England The University of New England has campuses in Biddeford, shown here, and Portland, as well as overseas in Tangier, Morocco.

The University of New England will bring together students, faculty and community members to assemble 50,000 nonperishable meal kits for Mainers at risk of hunger.

The event, which has been dubbed "Meals for Maine," is being held as part of national Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance events across the country to unite people in the spirit of service and memory of the 9/11 terror attacks.

UNE is one of 10 schools nationwide to receive funding to support the meal-kit initiative from the 9/11 National Day of Service organization, The Pack Shack’s “Feed the Funnel” grant program, AmeriCorps and MyGoodDeed.

Courtesy/University of New England
“Meals for Maine”

Meals for Maine will be held at 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 in Girard Innovation Hall on UNE’s Portland campus. 

As many as 250 volunteers are expected to assemble the meal kits, according to the Office of Service Learning in UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions and Portland Campus Student Life.

Meal kits will be distributed across Maine with a focus on reaching older adults, children, immigrant and refugee families and other vulnerable groups.

The event is to inspire students, faculty members and administrators to make a difference in their communities and engage in meaningful service-learning opportunities to support the University’s mission of improving the health of people and communities. 

According to the announcement by UNE, Maine is ranked first in New England and sixth in the nation for citizens facing food insecurity.

“When someone doesn’t have enough food or can only afford foods with low nutritional value, their health and quality of life can be seriously impacted,” said Trisha Mason, director of UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions. “As a health professions institution, UNE is taking a leadership role in providing education, awareness, exposure, and engagement for our students in creating a positive impact in our community around this critical public health issue.”

UNE has more than 6,500 students, including 2,300 on-campus undergraduates, 1,600 on-campus graduate students and 2,600 online students. 

UNE was ranked No. 6 among Maine’s largest colleges and universities in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on full-time undergraduate enrollment as of fall 2022.

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