During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Peaks Initiative RCP (HPI) in Maine was tapped by a foundation to connect with local communities and identify areas of critical need to determine where funding could best be deployed to face challenges brought on by the pandemic.  These challenges included:

  • Food insecurity in local communities
  • Safe recreation during the pandemic
  • Remote learning access needs
  • Meals for school kids when school is closed

In order to meet these challenges, HPI assisted the foundation in deploying funding through:

  • local restaurants providing 150 to 175 meals per day for people in need during the height of the initial lockdown
  • a local health organization which created a food bank program for distribution of boxed goods
  • a chamber of commerce who partnered with an elementary school to provide lunches for students and families
  • the purchase of hotspots for increased internet access for remote learning
  • funding for the Maine Trail Finder to keep users educated on safe trail use and to provide information on trail closures and other information

The mission of the High Peaks Initiative is to protect important natural resources, secure public access, and support healthy human and natural communities in Maine’s High Peaks.  Due to community connections, HPI was able to quickly deploy this funding to areas of greatest need, even if they were beyond the RCP’s mission