School Pantry Program

Delivering supplemental food each week to youth experiencing food insecurity and snacks for schools to distribute to all students.


Every Monday morning, over a thousand students in the greater-Brunswick area arrive at school hungry. They leave school on Friday afternoon and simply don’t have enough food at home to provide the nutrition they need on the weekend. It affects their ability to concentrate. It affects their ability to learn. It affects their ability to do all the things many others take for granted. It doesn’t have to be this way. For around $5 a week, we can supply a student and their family with enough food to get through the weekend so they don’t go hungry. Over 80,000 children in the State of Maine qualify for free or reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program; over 2,500 qualify in MCHPP’s service area.

In the fall of 2013, MCHPP launched our BackPack Program, now known as the School Pantry Program, in a number of elementary schools in our service area. Since then, the program has expanded into more elementary schools as well as several middle schools and high schools. Each week during the school year MCHPP delivers nutritious and easy to prepare food to schools for distribution to children facing food insecurity. A team of volunteers assembles the bags of food each Tuesday evening in our Food Bank. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday morning, volunteers deliver the bags to participating schools.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this service please contact our Youth Services Coordinator Haley at or 207-725-2716 x 308 for information on the program in your school(s) or reach out directly to your school guidance counselor/social worker.

Example School Pantry Bag and In-School Snacks

Pantry Bag

  • Pancake Mix (1)
  • Milk (1)
  • Canned Chicken (1)
  • Chicken and Rice Soup (1)
  • Canned Carrots (1)
  • Canned Pears (1)
  • Spaghetti (1)
  • Tomato Sauce (1)

In-School Snacks

  • Granola Bars
  • Raisins
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Cups


of parent respondents found the program easy to participate in


of student respondents said they could fix the foods in the School Pantry bag themselves


of parent respondents felt the program helped improve their child’s school achievement


of parent respondents felt the program helped them stretch their food budget

The three children in my classroom who get the bags do not have to be reminded to leave their backpacks in the classroom [sic] they can be filled with food. They very much need the food and look forward to it each week like a birthday gift.


The students have expressed gratitude- there are sometimes conflicts over food at their homes and they’ve expressed the power of stress reduction of not fighting with parents or guardians when they want more food than is available