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Helping Our Children Succeed and Stay Healthy

The pandemic reinforced what the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center and our FoodCorps partners have long known: Outdoor and hands-on learning is essential for our youngest learners.

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center was founded by St. Mary’s Health System and focuses on equitable access to food by bringing people together to build a just food system and a healthy community. You may have heard about the gardens we’ve been building around Lewiston and Auburn since 1999 – in large part thanks to philanthropic support from neighbors like you.

If you have children in the local schools, you may have also seen our school-based programs that bring gardens, cooking programs and outdoor learning to elementary school students.

These garden programs are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum and include the following:

  • Training teachers and providing curriculum and lesson resources
  • Creating and expanding school garden infrastructure
  • Teaching lessons in gardens, classrooms, cafeterias, and cooking clubs
  • Highlighting a “Harvest of the Month” food to encourage students to try new things and empower them to take ownership of their health
  • Working with Nutrition Services to add more culturally preferred foods to the menu and increase sourcing of fresh local foods
  • Integrating garden learning programs into summer school sessions

Will you help us expand the Nutrition Center’s school-based programs?

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(207) 777-8100
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