Nelson “Skip” Foley at BJ’s with a full cart! Submitted

OXFORD — In January of 2022, one of the sons of the American Legion, Nelson “Skip” Foley, approached the Sons of the American Legion regarding an issue that is not that well known. According to a number of staff at various schools, there are around 20% who come to school without a good breakfast for many different reasons.

Some may not get enough at home a day or two before the next check, some because the child got up late, rushed, and forgot to eat and others, they just weren’t hungry at the time.

When a child has an empty stomach, they don’t concentrate well, they don’t retain information because they are focused on lunch. They have behavior issues in some cases, and in other cases, they are simply a little lethargic.

The school system does have a breakfast program at the schools but not every child likes all of the offerings:

This is also a problem because the school cafeteria is not a restaurant. Meal selections are decided long before the day the meal is actually given and although the feedback helps guide them on what children will eat (like Taco Tuesdays) there are others who don’t care for it.

What the Foley proposed to the Sons for their support followed up with a proposal to the American Legion Post #112 in Oxford, Maine suggested that the Post and the Sons might try providing snacks for the kids at the local schools. It was heartily welcomed and on March 2 the first delivery was made to Oxford Elementary School. Shortly after that, Otisfield was included in the program.


As Foley pointed out, the post is not a rich post and there has been a bit of strain on the commitment, but in August of 2022, after delivering over 6,000 snacks to the two schools on a regular basis, the Sons agreed to continue for this 2022-23 year. What they didn’t count on, however; was the recession and inflation.

According to Foley, “The amount of money being the same in March of 2022 vs. in March of 2023 saw an increase of about 30% to 40%. This means the same money buys much less. Snacks like crackers or animal crackers have gone up. Our vision this year was to deliver a little higher grade but due to the funding issues, we are barely maintaining.”

The group decided to see if people in the town might like to donate to help the program as it affects about 600 students. As a result, this is the first time the sons did not remain quiet, but as of this article are sharing our program publicly.

“We are not trying to replace meals, we are aiming for a more specific purpose,” Foley added. “If a child is short on their morning food, a snack with a little protein can perk the young person up and help them be able to concentrate on their daily work. So if a child gets to school and didn’t bring snacks to tide them over until lunch, they may not do as well. If they leave for the bus at 7:15 a.m. and they have a regularly scheduled lunchtime at 12:30 p.m., that’s quite a stretch to have a young one hang on. This same thing happens if a student has a scheduled lunch time of 10:30-11 a.m. and school is not out until 3 p.m.; the ride home adds to it, and that too can make it tougher to learn. With snacks, it can keep them on track.”

The Sons are hoping some of the people in the area could help the post a little with this project. We can use it to not only continue well with the Snack4Kids! Program but we could also offer some things over the summer as the cost of food gets higher.

If any parent might like to help, they can donate by sending a check to the American Legion, 169 King Street, P.O Box 712, Oxford, 04270, or maybe have their child deliver a donation to the school office. It will get to them.

Foley also said he’d be out with others at local stores, looking for donations.

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