Maine Food Atlas
The Maine Food Atlas has been created by the Maine Network of Community Food Councils, working closely with the Center for Community GIS. The Atlas allows farmers, food entrepreneurs, processors, farm to school groups, food security organizations, and other food-based entities to "put themselves on the map." Called "curated crowd sourcing," users can establish free Maine Food Atlas accounts, which allow them to richly describe their work, load photos, and independently manage their postings over time. Merrymeeting Food Council can help create the listings.
It is designed as a tool to help visualize and organize the food system in Maine.
Through local food asset mapping, community food councils are actively exploring and documenting their regional food systems. This work provides essential baseline information necessary for rebuilding community food systems, assuring greater food security for all, and improving the social, economic, environmental, and health impacts of our food. Download our local food system assessment.
Check out the Maine Food Atlas HERE!
The Maine Network of Community Food Councils' Kickstart Guide
This guide helps individuals and groups engage and mobilize others in their communities to work collaboratively to understand and improve their local food system. This guide also provides information about how to conduct a community food scan.
Learn more about the Maine Network of Community Food Councils HERE.
Maine Food STRATEGY
The Maine Food Strategy is an initiative creating a broader and strongly-connected network of organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals contributing to the food system in Maine. Learn about MFS through the Maine Food Strategy Framework: A Tool for Advancing Maine's Food System.
Help us track food system change!
Hear from Maine farmers!
The Farm Needs and Priorities Report is based on a 2018-2019 statewide farmer needs assessment process designed to identify farmers’ needs and priorities and elevate these to the attention of decision-makers and agriculture service providers. For more information: http://mainefoodstrategy.org/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curious about the USDA Ag Census data?
Maine Food Strategy Councils are groups of committed individuals convening around one of the four goal areas of the Maine Food Strategy network: Economic Development, Healthy Food for All, Healthy Maine Environment, Vibrant Communities. Find more information and engage here.
Other resources generated by MFS include the Maine Food Strategy Fisheries Primer.
The Recipe to Market program in which entrepreneurs learn how to launch food-based businesses.
The Cooperative Extension hosts a Fruit and Vegetable listserve connecting farmers.
Maine Harvest for Hunger, is an effort to grow fresh vegetables and fruits to donate to food pantries and soup kitchens. Horticulture education leads to better gardens and nutrition education provides information on how to prepare healthy meals.
Cooking for Crowds Trainings & Resources - great for volunteers wanting food safety training for community meals.
For educators and individuals…
Extension also conducts Eat Well, a nutrition education program, to help clients learn to stretch their resources and better feed their families, make wise dietary choices and develop healthier lifestyles. This successful program exists in every county in Maine.
Learn more about becoming a Master Gardener!
University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program
The University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program has brought several good speakers to Maine and is a tremendous resource for growing Maine's food system.
For more information about the program or to see their events, click here.
For example, see this 2017 lecture on food security by Mark Winne, Senior Advisor at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Food Fuels Learning:
A Portland Public Schools Food Security Needs Assessment
The product of a year-long, community-driven process, "Food Fuels Learning" is an unprecedented approach to researching and understanding Portland's school food system and food security programming through five key areas: charitable food programs, federal nutrition programs, school gardens, nutrition education, and sustainable food practices. We encourage all members of the school community, and partner organizations that serve schools, to read and share widely these important findings and recommendations. We welcome thoughts, feedback, and collaboration as we move into the next phase of this work: implementing recommendations and launching the "Food Fuels Learning" Campaign.
The Portland Public Schools Food Security Task Force was created as a project of the Cumberland County Food Security Council, the Portland Food Council and the Portland Public Schools in 2017. For more information or to download the executive summary or full report, see the website.
2017 book - Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities. Download here.
2017 report - Hunger Pains: Widespread food insecurity threatens Maine’s future. Prebble Street and Good Shepard Food Bank. Download here.
2017 report - Unraveling the Food-Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy, and power relations to build healthier food systems, by International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems. Download here.
2015 report - Growing Maine's Food Industry, Growing Maine. Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Download here.
2015 report - Maine Seafood Study. CEI. Download here.
2015 report - Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. FAO. Download here.
2014 report - A New England Food Vision. Food Solutions New England. Download here.
2014 book - Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. Leanne Brown. Download here.
2014 report - New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System. Download here.
2011 report - Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention. FAO. Download here.
2011 report - Maine's Food System: An Overview and Assessment. Maine Policy Review. Download here.
2009 report - Whole Measures for Community Food Systems: Values Based Planning and Evaluation. Community Food Security Coalition. Download here.
Healthy Eating ON A BUDGET
Cooking Matters: Cooking Matters helps families to shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget, as part of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Recipes, Tips & Videos, Find Classes and more!
Senior Farm Share Program: Senior Farm Share is a federally funded program administered by the Maine Department of Agriculture that provides low-income seniors with free, locally grown produce. Farmers are subsidized to provide deliveries of produce directly to the seniors. Information for Farmers. Information for Seniors.
No Kid Hungry Campaign: 1 in 6 children in America lives with hunger. 1 in 4 children in Maine lives with hunger. Find out more.
SNAP/WIC: Trying to feed your family on a tight budget? Check out some of these resources to help you put healthy food on the table.
Maine Harvest Bucks: Double your SNAP/EBT/Food Stamps at farmers’ markets, farm stands and CSA’s with Maine Harvest Bucks. For every dollar you spend with your SNAP/EBT card at a market, you’ll receive an extra “buck” in Maine Harvest Bucks to be spent on fruits and vegetables. Maine Harvest Bucks can be spent that day, or saved for later in the month or year when you want to spend them!
Farm Fresh Rewards: This program is part of a growing number of nutrition incentive programs that help low-income shoppers access healthy food across the country by connecting them with local produce and the farmers who grow it, building sales for farmers. Farm Fresh Rewards can be used by shoppers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps) at participating retail stores. Farm Fresh Rewards complements the Maine Harvest Bucks program that offers incentives to shoppers at farmers markets and CSA farms. Farm Fresh Rewards is currently offered at 16 retail locations around the state of Maine, with more to come. See this flyer for more information or the website link above.
Health and Nutrition information from Hannaford: Learn about health and nutrition: how to make changes to your diet to support health conditions: allergies, diabetes, heart health and weight loss. Learn about how to eat healthy on a budget. Learn about healthy foods for kids. Ask a dietician: attend a class, see a demo or talk to one anytime online. Brunswick/Topsham Hannaford Online Dietician: Anne L'Heureux. Anne earned her BS from the University of Medicine & Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. Anne has been a dietitian with Hannaford since 2015, beginning her Hannaford career in the Kennebunk and Biddeford, Maine, retail stores. As a dietitian, Anne strives to help customers navigate the large and sometimes confusing world of nutrition. Check here for the monthly schedule of classes in Brunswick & Topsham (updated each month).
211: A nationwide service connecting people with services. You can search the website for local resources or simply call 2-1-1 to be connected. Service categories include: emergency and disasters, food, health, housing and utilities, human trafficking, jobs and employment, reentry, and veterans.
OTHER MAINE based FOOD SYSTEM organizations
Agriculture Council of Maine: Provides a forum for all statewide agricultural organizations to meet and discuss how to move Maine food and farming forward. Maine’s farmers, value-added food businesses, and Ag-services industries need the daily support of all Maine people to keep this vital part of our economy and our quality of life growing strong.
Coastal Enterprises Inc.: CEI integrates financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions to help grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and other rural regions. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential.
Cultivating Community: Cultivating Community grows sustainable communities by expanding access to healthy, local food; empowering children, youth, and adults to play diverse roles in restoring the local, sustainable food systems; and modeling, teaching, and advocating for ecological food production.
Eat Maine Foods!: The Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELFC) is a state-wide non-profit network that seeks social change at a fundamental level: changing what we eat and how we make decisions about what we buy. ELFC is interested in creating a shift towards a locally-based food system that is economically vibrant, environmentally sustainable, and healthy.
Farm Veteran Coalition of Maine: We cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. We believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems. We believe that agriculture offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits.
Food AND Medicine: Food AND Medicine’s mission is to organize, educate, and empower workers and our communities in the fight for economic and social justice. Food AND Medicine believes that by working together with unions, farmers, community groups, small businesses, and faith-based organizations we will create solutions and positive change.
Food Security Coalition: Sponsored by the United Way of Mid Coast Maine and the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, the Food Security Coalition is made up of representatives from 17 food pantries and soup kitchens in the Mid Coast region. By working together, the FSC seeks to identify ways to increase their volunteer base, sources of food, and fundraising efforts.
Full Plates Full Potential: An organization bringing together child food insecurity stakeholders from across the state. If we have a chance at ending child hunger we need to engage with public, private and non-profit organizations. All three sectors working together give us the best chance to scale our efforts and reach kids in all corners of the state.
Garbage to Garden: Founded in 2012 and based in Portland, Maine, Garbage to Garden is a curbside compost service that offers urban dwellers, schools and commercial businesses a convenient way to recycle food scraps, including meat, dairy and bones, to be used to renew our local soil.
Good Shepherd Food Bank: The mission of Good Shepherd Food Bank is to eliminate hunger in Maine by sourcing and distributing nutritious food to people in need, building strong community partnerships, and mobilizing the public in the fight to end hunger.
Gulf of Maine Research Institute: GMRI pioneers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Located in Portland, GMRI is dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it.
Healthy Acadia: We empower people and organizations to build healthy communities. Our Vision: Hancock and Washington Counties are home to diverse, vibrant communities where healthful resources are available and people work together for the common good.
Island Institute: The Island Institute works to sustain Maine's island and coastal communities, and exchanges ideas and experiences to further the sustainability of communities here and elsewhere.
Let’s Go! 5210: Let’s Go! is an obesity prevention initiative working with communities to create environments that support healthy choices. Bringing evidence-based strategies for healthy living into schools, child care and out-of-school programs, health care practices, and workplaces, Let’s Go! reaches children and adults where they live, learn, work, and play.
Maine Ag Center: A portal to agricultural and related natural resource programs of University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension and the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. The experiment station is a unit of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
Maine AgrAbility: Addressing health, safety, and the prevention of injuries across the state of Maine — on the farm, on the water, and in the forest.
Maine Children’s Alliance: Promoting sound policies and best practices to make sure all Maine children have the resources and opportunity to reach their full potential from birth to adulthood. MCA works to inform, empower and inspire parents and providers, practitioners and organizations, and advocates and policy makers to make Maine a better place to be a kid.
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: The State of Maine's support center for our many land-based, natural resource interests. The Department balances for and develops the state's various land-based, natural-resources including Maine agriculture, forests, outdoor recreation and public-access.
Maine Department of Education: The Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with educators, schools, districts and communities Statewide, strives to provide all Maine students access to educational experiences, PreK through adult, that lead to their success in life and career.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services: DHHS serves approximately one-third of the people of Maine, providing health care and social service support to children, families, the elderly, the disabled, people with mental illness or substance abuse issues, and the poor. The Department operates two state psychiatric hospitals; provides public health information, guidance and management through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention; and provides oversight to hospitals, nursing homes and other health care entities through the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services.
Maine Department of Marine Resources: Established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources; to conduct and sponsor scientific research; to promote and develop the Maine coastal fishing industries; to advise and cooperate with local, state, and federal officials concerning activities in coastal waters; and to implement, administer, and enforce the laws and regulations necessary for these purposes...
Maine Farm Bureau: Maine Farm Bureau leads the way as the unified voice in preserving and growing Maine’s agriculture. Maine Farm Bureau works to ensure sustainability and profitability of Maine’s natural resource businesses. Our vision is that agriculture in Maine will be a diversified, growing and vital part in Maine’s economy that is supported by thriving and responsive Maine Farm Bureau, respectful of heritage, while embracing technology and innovation.
Maine Farm to Institution: MEFTI is a multi-sector network of people from institutions, nonprofits, farms, government agencies and other entities involved in the food system. MEFTI catalyzes a social impact network focused on farm to institution in Maine to build a healthy and sustainable regional food system.
Maine Farm to School Network: The Maine Farm to School Network mission is to build a communication and coordination infrastructure at the school and community level to support farm to school programs throughout Maine. Work focuses on education, procurement, and school gardens.
Maine Food for Thought: Our mission is to reveal the distinctive stories of Maine’s unique food system, and the social, environmental, and economic connections. Our vision is a future where people feel an intimate connection to their food decisions and a sense of responsibility for the sustainable relationships their food has within their communities.
Maine Foodscapes: We plant seeds for healthy leaders and eaters in Maine.
Maine Gleaning Network: A collaborative farm surplus rescue effort gathering crops from Maine's fields, and engaging communities in a more resourceful and equitable food system. Formed the Food Recovery Coalition.
Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association: A business trade association representing main street businesses: independently owned and operated grocery stores, supermarkets, food and beverage producers and processors, wholesalers and distributors and allied service companies.
Maine Mobile Health Program: Maine Mobile Health Program is our state’s only farmworker health organization. Our collaborative model involves folks who carry the commitment to make a difference in the lives of Maine’s farmworkers. By linking agricultural workers to care and services, we aim to reduce health disparities and inequities of access for this workforce. Putting fruits and vegetables on ALL of our tables is not only vital work; it positively impacts our collective health.
Maine Network of Community Food Councils: MNCFC has a vision for our state to have resilient, vibrant and self-reliant local and regional food systems, so that all Maine communities will have enduring food sovereignty and our citizens will have access to healthy, local food. Our mission is to increase the capacity of local level food systems efforts through collaboration, coordination and resource sharing, resulting in sustainable, sovereign food systems across the state of Maine.
Bangor Area Food Council - Capital Area Food Council - Community Food Matters (Norway area) - Cumberland County Food Security Council - Greater Franklin Food Council - Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn - Lincoln County Food Council - Local Food Connection (Bethel area) - Partners for a Hunger Free York County - Portland Food Council - Washington County Food Council - Waterville Area Food Council
Maine Nutrition Council: The Maine Nutrition Council promotes the mission of its founders – to contribute to the health and well-being of Maine citizens through education, research and advocacy.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: The oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. MOFGA is a broad-based community that educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities.
Maine School Garden Network: The mission of the Maine School Garden Network is to promote and support educational gardens for youth, and to encourage school programs which teach healthy eating and environmental stewardship. Our vision is for all school gardens in Maine to be connected to the resources and support they need to thrive.
Maine School Nutrition Association: Our goal is to provide healthy meals and promote nutrition education to Maine’s school children. Dedicated to our mission of making sure that no Maine child goes hungry, we dream of providing universal feeding for all school-offered meals. We are the primary source of child nutrition information statewide and want to see every school represented and supported by a high level of leadership.
Maine SNAP-Ed: Provide nutrition education services in settings that are most accessible to individuals eligible for SNAP including: schools, food pantries, Head Starts and other child care settings, grocery stores, and regional DHHS offices. In 2016 alone, we reached over 34,000 Mainers with educational programming about healthy eating within a limited budget.
Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society: What we do: 1) Demonstrate how best practices in sustainable agriculture benefit farmers, 2) Assist farmers to evaluate practices in sustainable agriculture, 3) Share information and help shape polices that will benefit sustainable agriculture, 4) Help develop the infrastructure for changing agricultural needs and markets.
Slow Money Maine: The mission of Slow Money Maine is to build a diverse network of individuals, philanthropists, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities that are focused on investing in farms and fisheries, and the ecosystems that sustain them as a means of growing our local food systems, economies and communities statewide.
and many more...!