AUBURN – Sarah Olstein, a seventh-grader at Auburn Middle School, has recently taken on a community service project to broaden awareness of hunger throughout the state.

Inviting fellow classmates, schools and community members in her journey to help feed Maine’s hungry and to observe National Hunger Awareness Day on June 7, Olstein came up with the idea of selling hunger awareness bracelets to benefit the Good Shepherd Food-Bank.

Olstein said she was surprised to learn that Good Shepherd Food-Bank does more than feed Maine’s hungry. It solicits surplus food from the grocery industry and distributes it to more than 500 nonprofit agencies throughout the state. The money the agencies save on their food budgets free up funds to improve the services they provide.

One in 10 people in Maine is hungry or at-risk of hunger, four in 10 children under the age of 12 are hungry or at-risk of hunger, and eight in 10 households surveyed report that adults routinely sacrifice for their children by eating less.

Since one-third of the children in Maine are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs, summertime is an especially critical time.

Every bracelet sold can provide $25 in food, feeding a family of four for a week. The bracelets are $3 each and the food bank will authorize any youth or church group, school, athletic team, class or Scouts to add $1 to each bracelet and keep the additional money as their own fund-raiser.

For more information on how to help, contact contact JoAn Chartier at 782-3554 or e-mail [email protected]

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