Janet Hamel


Janet grew up in a military family with loving parents who emphasized working hard in school and doing the right thing. Her family relocated often during her father’s career; as a result, Janet attended six elementary schools—and learned how to adapt to change. She earned degrees in English, Special Education, and Education Leadership. For 34 years Janet was an instructional writer/editor for a DC area consulting firm, working at home in the wee hours of the night in Virginia, Illinois, and Maine, so she could stay home and be active in her two amazing daughters’ lives. Collaborative activism and leadership in schools, school districts, and adult disability services have fed Janet’s interest in advocacy for causes and people she believes in.
Now retired, Janet and her husband Jeff have settled into a joyful life in Bar Harbor. Her daughter Marty is thriving in her life at Malvern-Belmont with her cat Potato—and stays busy with her four volunteer jobs (one at Open Table MDI).


I love Acadia National Park and the abundance of natural beauty all around MDI. But my favorite part about living in Bar Harbor, this place I call home? It’s the active, caring energy that people expend here taking care of each other, making a difference in their towns and the environment, creating art and music, supporting each other’s health and welfare, and working together to build and sustain the community we all want to live in. When people share meals—whether they’re family, friends, neighbors, or strangers—barriers go down, and the experience of eating healthy food and hearing heartfelt music and seeing original art together creates a connection and the magic of possibility. And when people who live with food insecurity and/or transportation difficulties benefit from Open Table’s home-delivered meals, perhaps they feel cared for while they eat a healthy meal. I want to support Open Table in creating these healthy, healing connections.