Merrymeeting Food Council (MFC) had a great turnout for their first roundtable event on June 20th focused on food access in the Merrymeeting Bay region. Four presentations covered barriers to food access: from transportation to stigma, and solutions including: food security screening in healthcare settings, the BackPack program, and a volunteer led effort to build community and food access through free weekly community meals. Food access is a complex issue impacting all of us and the solutions needed require meeting both short and long-term needs and must range in scale, as represented by these presenters, from large healthcare institution to one community’s volunteer group. These presentations served as inspiration for subsequent small group discussions focused on potential solutions related to transportation, farm based programs, healthcare based programs, community based programs, and more.
You can see the presentation slides here: 1) MFC Intro, 2) MFC Community Food Access and Wellness Assessment Overview, 3) Mid Coast Hospital - Hunger Vital Signs Program, 4) Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program - BackPack Program, 5) Harpswell Aging at Home - Lunch with Friends and Meals in a Pinch Programs.
If you would like to be connected with any of the presenters or learn more, please contact us.
In our work to address the challenge of not knowing what resources exist locally for accessing food, MFC created community nutrition resource guides for our region and also created Know Your Veggies in partnership with Maine SNAP-Ed. The Know Your Veggies booklet includes pictures and recipes for 50 commonly grown, and gleaned, vegetables in Maine. These are available under the Merrymeeting Bay Resources on our website.