Remembering John Woods

Shared by Laura Pineo, Retired School Nutrition Director & Acting Board Chair of Full Plates Full Potential

Let us take a moment to celebrate the life of one of the founders of Full Plates Full Potential, Mr. John Woods. 

John was an incredible man with a passion for helping solve the issue of food insecurity in Maine for all children. I first met John in 2015, during a listening session held regarding poverty and the impact of school meals and student learning. As the School Nutrition Direct of RSU 54/MSAD54 (Skowhegan), living in one of the poorest counties in Maine. We had recently implemented a district wide plan to offer meals to all students at no cost to families. John had many questions and listened carefully to my response. When we first spoke, I had no idea how closely John and I would work together on a solvable problem for children.

John loved to tell, and listen to, stories about how to improve food access for all children. A focus on school age children was and has been a logical place to start. John’s amazing knowledge of business and entertainment industries along with his contacts across the food industry in Maine and beyond created an idea and then a small non-profit. 

Full Plates Full Potential was created by John Woods and Justin Alfond to help find solutions to barriers in providing meals to children across Maine, and I am honored to be a part of this work. John became the first Chairperson for the Full Plates and created a brilliant plan to utilize our resources across the state to fund the needs of school nutrition programs. John, Justin Alfond, and I became the first Board of Directors for Full Plates Full Potential.

We worked and continue to work with a small, but mighty group of people to bring potential winning solutions to all of Maine’s schools and students. John’s genuine interest in finding solutions to this problem and his business acumen have been instrumental in growing Full Plates into the nationally acclaimed non-profit it is today.

John has forever changed my own personal journey in the quest to feed the future of Maine. I no longer feel or think that I am walking this journey alone. I shall miss my friend and mentor every day.