Maine's Ending Hunger Corps Welcomes National Acting Director of AmeriCorps VISTA
January 26, 2024
For more information contact: Jim Britt at: Jim.Britt@maine.gov
Augusta - Carly Bruder, the National Acting Director of AmeriCorps VISTA, and Sharon Bassett, AmeriCorps Northeast Regional Portfolio Manager, recently spent two impactful days immersing themselves in the operations of Maine's Ending Hunger Corps. This visit aimed to provide a firsthand experience of the unique program pivotal in Maine's historic initiative to end hunger.
In 2019, Maine made history by becoming the first and only state to pass legislation dedicated to eradicating hunger. Ending Hunger Corps is foundational to the ambitious plan "Everyone at the Table: Maine's Roadmap to End Hunger by 2030." The program leverages the skills of VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members from across the nation to positively impact the lives of Mainers throughout the state.
During their visit, Bruder and Bassett had the opportunity to experience Healthy Lincoln County in Damariscotta, where Madeline Copeck, an Ending Hunger Corps VISTA member, is actively working to improve food security for the local community. Copeck, in collaboration with community partners, has developed the establishment of 24-hour food pantries, aptly named "Share Tables," strategically placed within the community. These tables provide a discreet and convenient way for people to access essential food items. Copeck led a tour, highlighting the significance of fresh, locally sourced produce obtained through gleaning programs with local farms and distributed at the Share Tables.
In a show of solidarity, Ending Hunger Corps members, alongside Bruder and Bassett, engaged in hands-on activities such as sorting through food boxes and serving meals at Bread of Life Soup Kitchen in Augusta.
"The Maine Ending Hunger Corps VISTA project is a compelling example of what's possible when deploying federal resources to support local programming and ingenuity," remarked Bruder. "This partnership builds upon the incredible foundation of food security work taking place across Maine, utilizing the energy and innovation of VISTA members to get things done."
Isabelle Newman, Maine Ending Hunger Corps Program Coordinator, expressed appreciation for hosting Carly Bruder for their MLK Day of Service, "Maine's Ending Hunger Corps was delighted to host Acting Director Bruder for our MLK Day of Service."
The visit included a tour of Healthy Lincoln County and active participation in volunteering with Ending Hunger Corps' VISTAs at Bread of Life Soup Kitchen in Augusta. Newman extended gratitude to Bruder for honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through community service.
As a token of appreciation, a special presentation of AmeriCorps' Challenge Coin was made to Ending Hunger Corps members, symbolizing a lifetime connection to AmeriCorps through their daily service, attitude, and support.
For more information about Ending Hunger Corps, VISTA opportunities, or becoming a host site, please contact Kim Lengert, Program Manager, at Vista.DACF@maine.gov.
Pictured left to right: (Front row) Ending Hunger Corps Program Manager Kim Lengert, VISTAs Madaline Copeck, Caroline Damiani, and Cathy Ryder. (Back row) AmeriCorps Northeast Regional Portfolio Manager Sharon Bassett, VISTAs Jayna Mallon, Macey Musto, and Chelsea Marshall, and AmeriCorps VISTA Acting Director Carly Bruder