THE MONEY MINUTE: As goes Maine…away goes hunger

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

Hunger in Maine is much more prevalent than most people know, and it affects our state deeply. Community members of all ages, all throughout our state, lack access to adequate food. Hunger needs a much broader definition. So does food.

Last year, the Good Shepherd Food Bank was instrumental in serving over 30 million meals to Maine people. Thirty million. But don’t be fooled: this did not meet all the need that was there. It may be a hard figure to take in, but try for a moment: here in Maine, even 30 million meals does not fill the hunger gap.

Over the past few months, I have shared time with leaders of organizations such as the Good Shepherd Food Bank, smaller local food banks, AIO out of Rockland, Full Plates Full Potential (founded by Justin Alfond and John Woods), the Greater Boston Food Bank, Feeding America, and more. I love these people. I love their spirits, their vision, their drive, and their internal need to be impactful members of society. It is a beautiful thing to witness and experience the determination that is so firmly rooted within these leaders.

One thing all leaders I met with said, is that their goal is to work themselves out of a job—to end all hunger in Maine. Imagine.

Some people are especially cognizant of the deciding role that nutrition, or lack thereof, plays in the development of our youth. Right now, at least one in five Maine children are experiencing hunger. Due to COVID-19, the number may be higher. Further, if we as a state keep doing exactly what we are (and aren’t) doing now, food-insecurity (and the results of it) in Maine will only increase. So how do we approach this issue?

We need to feed kids in a way that lasts a lifetime. Let me explain.

There is an immediate need to feed kids food, as we have discussed. A child cannot be expected to leave school on Friday, go two and a half days without food, then show up at school on Monday to sit in a chair for hours, pay attention, retain information, and develop as does a child fueled by nutritious food. Therefore, organizations like the ones I just mentioned and the people who lead them, are silent heroes. They are doing everything in their power to make sure this doesn’t happen, and they are doing one heck of a great job.

Now, let’s think beyond the immediate need for a moment. What else feeds kids?

We need to feed kids positive ideas, books that take them to new places, keys to the libraries of the world, direct access to education and career opportunities that might seem untouchable, the crucial ability to identify opportunities, access to speakers who can share their stories about building a life of significance, and most of all, awareness of what’s possible.

At J.M. Arbour, we mange IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and other investments. Only CFP® professionals and Chartered Financial Consultants® meet with the participants in retirement plans. We donate 50% of our net profits to meet the immediate need for food in Maine and further, to structure a network that will feed the hearts and minds of Maine’s tomorrow: our youth, for years to come.

Maine is well positioned to become the first state in the nation to literally end hunger among its people. Actually, when you step back and take a look at what that would require of us, it is quite simple.

We—the organizations and small companies fighting hunger—need teammates. We need you. Call J.M Arbour’s Chief Operating Officer, Devon Pcolar, and let us know if you want to help us end hunger in Maine.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour CFP®, ChFC®

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management. He can be reached at 207-248-6767.

Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.


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