Happy Spring!  

The ground is starting to thaw and things are starting to poke through the ground, but the soil is not all that's warming up! We have been busy writing grants and making plans for future MFC work and continuing to build our network and Merrymeeting Gleaners program. There are numerous events coming up, so check out our events page for listings of partner programs. 

Last month, the Fourth Food Security Forum hosted by Morris Farm and Chewonki focused on Food is Medicine: Food Security and Health with presentations by Good Shepard Food Bank, Maine Farmland Trust, Cultivating Community, doctors, our Merrymeeting Gleaners, and many more. There were great discussions throughout the day long event and of note was the passion and thoughtfulness shown by the students present from Chewonki’s Maine Coast Semester School, Cultivating Community (Portland), and St. Mary’s Nutrition Center (Lewiston). To see the program from the Forum, click HERE

This week concludes with the Annual Summit of the Maine Network for Community Food Councils on April 13th in Belfast, with an exciting focus on how to knit together the wide range of food systems work occurring at local, to state and regional scales. This event is open to all and provides a wide variety of resources and topics for those engaged in our food system. To register, click HERE.  

Three sessions during the 8:30 am-4:00 pm Summit will focus on building a powerful statewide food system network. Session one includes workshops on: Network Design: Sharing is at the heart of networks; Food System Metrics; and Gleaning & Composting: Two Nodes of a Paradigm Shift. Session two includes workshops on: Network Building; Community Education & Engagement Strategies; and Food Policies: How Can Food Councils Make Food & Agriculture a Policy Priority in the 2018 Elections. Session three includes workshops on: Building a Network of Networks, and Open Space for other topics generated during the morning sessions.

As a teaser, here is the scope of the Food Policies workshop which highlights the role for Agriculture Policy in upcoming elections and the Farm Bill renewal. This session will explore what's going on and how community policy work can connect with larger scale policy work (State and Federal). Amanda Beal from Maine Farmland Trust will help facilitate and share a draft Agriculture Policy Platform focused mostly on gubernatorial candidates. Emily Horton (from Representative Chellie Pingree's office) will share federal policy work updates.

MFC is an active member of the Maine Network of Community Food Councils through which we gain knowledge from shared resources and the work of other community food councils and food council partners. Learn more about the network on their website and Facebook pages.