Merrymeeting Food Council Summer Update

Network Building & Food System Support

To fulfill our aim of bringing partners and community together to discuss pressing issues facing the food system in our region, MFC plans to host a few community conversations each year.

In June, we held our first community conversation focused on barriers to food access and wellness in our region with MFC and partners from Mid Coast Hospital, Harpswell Aging at Home, and Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program presenting and discussing how to support our communities. Read a recap and see the presentations...

Our next community conversation, in early winter, will focus on ways to address the labor challenge faced by many farms in our region. If you would like to be involved in planning, please reach out! To put the local farm labor discussion in a statewide context, here are two Maine Calling pieces that aired on MPR earlier this summer. The first is with Commissioner Laura Fortman from the Maine Department of Labor, and in the second piece you can hear about the workforce shortage from a broader panel. MFC would love to hear from you! What innovative ideas do you think might work in our region?

If you have a topic you would like to see as the focus of a conversation, please reach out!

Food Access & Health

As part of MFC’s work to increase access to healthy local produce for all in our region, MFC has created Community Nutrition Resource Guides for all 14 of our communities! They are available for free on our website and we are counting on our network to help spread the word about these guides. They will be updated regularly so please check back for the latest versions and let us know if you see any updates needed or missing information.

MFC’s Merrymeeting Gleaners and SNAP-Ed worked together to finalize a booklet of recipes and storage information for 50 types of commonly gleaned fruits and vegetables. Download the KNOW YOUR VEGGIES! booklet.

One outcome of our community food access work over the past year was the recognition that there are communities in our region interested in starting or adding community meals. These are a simple way of building community and increasing access to healthy foods for all residents whether the barrier is transportation, time, or finances. MFC is supporting the development of a monthly Sunday Brunch by residents in Bowdoinham, with the first meal to be held Sunday, October 6th! MFC is happy to help convene residents of other communities interested in starting their own community meal program and can share ideas from Harpswell Aging at Home’s Lunch with Friends model for inspiration!

You can also catch up on more news from MFC’s Merrymeeting Gleaners, MFC Partner Updates and Food System News!

Let us know how you would like to see our local and statewide food system grow? Are there connections you would like to make with other sectors of the food system? Email us with ideas.

Hope you are enjoying these gorgeous late summer days!