Maine Hunger Dialogue and Climate Action Summit Returns in October

College and high school students and their teachers from across the state are invited to participate in the 2023 Maine Hunger Dialogue and Climate Action Summit 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine. 

The one-day conference, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Maine Campus Compact, Sodexo and the University Credit Union, is designed to challenge students and staff from all areas of study and spark action to end hunger on campuses in the state.

The event will include forums and discussions with subject matter experts on hunger, food waste and climate change. Participants will tour the UMaine campus and have the opportunity to enter a cooking challenge. During the Soup Happens! cooking challenge, teams of students will create soups using ingredients from the local Maine harvest. The students’ creations will then be packaged to feed those in need in the Bangor and Orono areas. 

In addition to the Oct. 11 conference, attendees will be able to take part in a pre-conference gleaning session from 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 26. During the session, participants will pick potatoes to donate to area food banks and see the food system at ground level. 

Students can attend as individuals or in teams with a faculty mentor. Teams are also eligible to receive guidance on crafting a grant-funded project for their campus or school. Previous mini-grants have funded school and campus pantries, food security studies and campus community gardens. Grant funding requires attendance at the conference. 

The conference is free and meals are included. Registration is required by Oct. 6, as space is limited. All registrants will receive a separate email regarding the Sept. 26, pre-conference gleaning event and the cooking challenge. 

Last year’s conference at the University of Maine at Augusta brought together 65 students, faculty and staff from colleges across the state. During the two-day event, attendees heard from keynote speakers; packed and helped distribute 10,000 shelf-stable meals to area food banks; participated in a Top Chef dorm style cooking challenge; and were awarded 10 $500 mini-grants, which recipients will share with this year’s conference attendees during a poster session. 

For more information and to sign up for the conference and the cooking and gleaning event, visit the 2023 Maine Hunger Dialogue and Climate Action Summit webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Lynne Holland,; 207.581.8211.

For assistance with travel and accommodation for students coming from a distance of more than two hours, contact Sally Slovenski,; 207.893.7714.