Yet another example of how the Boothbay Y is a community catalyst for good happened earlier this year when we began working with a wonderful young woman, Elisabeth Wright, in a "job mentoring" program which came to us in collaboration with Goodwill Industries. Elisabeth instantly fit right in and became a big help. We put her right to work with our Y food distribution program that addresses local food insecurity. It has been a "win-win!" As the Y provides Elisabeth with valuable job training, Elisabeth is certainly helping our Y and our community.
Elisabeth works closely with and is mentored by me, to make sure our "lobby refrigerator" is fully stocked with lunch "Grab-and-Go" bags, delicious breakfast foods and healthy snacks for anyone in need, no questions asked. We pack, chop, bag, and label, checking that all the food is nourishing, fresh and safe. Elisabeth has also helped us label food items, ensuring that you know what you are getting, thus avoiding food waste.
I am especially excited to work with and mentor Elisabeth. When Elisabeth came in on her first day, it was an instant connection and an "Ah, I know you" moment! As it turned out, Elisabeth and myself had previously- known each other and even been together in Romee May's yoga class. In addition, I know Elisabeth's grandparents, Howard and Dee Wright, long-time residents of the region, Y members and participants in Y classes! Elisabeth comes ready to work and learn each Tuesday and Thursday, often accompanied by another Goodwill mentor, Ali, who also lends a hand whenever asked!
In light of the fact that Maine ranks high among the states in food insecurity and considering the added need during this pandemic, the Y is proud do what we can. This initiative also provides Healthy "Grab and Go" snacks and lunches at three additional sites including the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, the Y's Child Enrichment Center and the Fit Kids program, currently located at Camp Knickerbocker. The Y also collaborates with the Boothbay schools in purchasing much of the food through the schools, with help from cafeteria staffer, Heidi Stevens.
The food program aims to support both individuals and their families. With two lunches in every "Grab-and-Go" bag, local youth can take one for today and have one to save for tomorrow. We appreciate the Goodwill program for connecting us with Elisabeth and we certainly appreciate Elisabeth's contribution to the Y as a catalyst for good!