It has been an exciting few months for the Merrymeeting Food Council! We have secured funding to expand our Merrymeeting Gleaners program with increased Gleaning Coordinator hours AND funding to pursue an initiative seeking to build community health through increased access to local food. We are very excited to begin this work!
We will host a series of community meetings where all community members can work alongside healthcare professionals, food producers, and others to identify barriers to accessing healthy local food and best practices for increasing food access. Together, we will examine existing programs and models for potential new programs. Following on these meetings the Merrymeeting Food Council and our partners will be seeking sustained community engagement in designing programs that promote wellness through healthy food and physical activity. If you are interested in joining our work group focusing on these issues, helping host or plan the community meetings, or simply to learn more, please contact us. EVERYONE IS WELCOME. You do not need to have related professional experience, personal experience is equally important. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks.
We are able to pursue this wellness initiative and community engagement work thanks to our funders, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (www.sewallfoundation.org) and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (www.grassrootsfund.org). THANK YOU! Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust was the recipient of the Sewall Foundation grant as MFC is not a non-profit. BTLT is administering both grants, thank you BTLT!
Lots of fun and educational food system events are coming up! If you missed the recent Open Farm Day in Bowdoinham, see our news feed for great photos captured by our partner Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative (BCDI). See the events listed here, with more detail available on our events page.
More about our funders...
The long-term goal of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation is to improve the well-being and prosperity of all Maine people and the environment in which they live. Among the most pressing issues currently facing Maine and negatively impacting the well-being of both people and the environment are: limited economic opportunity, environmental degradation, and the existence of barriers that create inequities and separation among people.
We believe that the well-being of people and the environment are inextricably linked. Neither can thrive while the other suffers. As the connections between people and their environment are strengthened, both become healthier, more resilient and more vibrant. Further, we believe that more positive relationships between people across socioeconomic and cultural boundaries can bridge differences, reduce inequities, and contribute to community health.
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund energizes and nurtures long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and sustainable communities using stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change. Since 1996, the Grassroots Fund's core grant making program continues to fund nearly 150 grants annually, giving more than $4 million in 20 years to more than 2,000 community groups and initiatives covering more than 60% of New England's cities and towns. For more information, please visit grassrootsfund.org or call 603-905-9915.