Food security forum a massive success
To all of you who made it out to our food security forum last Wednesday, July 11, a very hearty thank you. We were blown away by the support on this topic, and felt privileged to host our panel of experts from a variety of local and state organizations.
But the work in this area is far from over, and for those of you who could not make it to this event, I wanted to share some of the key takeaways. Please read on, because the more we know, the sooner we can make hunger in our towns a thing of the past.
Did you know:
– 12.7 percent of people in the U.S. suffer from “food insecurity,” but that number is 15.8 percent of people in Maine, and growing every year
– 13.7 percent of Lincoln County residents are food-insecure
– 1 in 4 children in Maine do not have enough to eat
– A “living wage” is reached only at 200 percent above the poverty line
In 2018, the Ecumenical Food Pantry has seen a 6 percent increase from 2017 in the number of families using the pantry, a 6 percent increase in the number of individuals using the pantry, and a 21 percent increase in the average number of visits per week.
What is being done:
In 2017, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine distributed 341,700 meals, and spent $52,400 purchasing goods from local Maine farms.
Not only does FARMS at the Y run cooking and gardening programs for people of all ages, it also provides food education at eight local food pantries and distributes recipes that highlight nutrient-dense food.
Twin Village Food Bank Farm provides local food pantries with beautiful produce, and educates kids on growing food.
The Lincoln County Gleaners is a group of local volunteers dedicated to reducing food waste and helping community members gain access to local produce. Local farms that allow them to harvest produce that would otherwise be composted and distribute it to sites in Lincoln County and beyond.
The school backpack programs, which seek to send students home with a backpack of food to make it through weekends and holidays, had a total of 60 students at Head Start, Nobleboro Central School, and Great Salt Bay Community School.
What can you do about all of this? Awareness is the first step. After that, why not contact one of the great organizations doing this work in your area, and see if you can lend a hand or donate a dollar? Together we can make a difference.
Have a great week,
– An Evening with Gabrielle Hamilton, author of “Blood, Bones & Butter,” Friday, Aug. 3 from 7-10 p.m. at Skidompha Library. Ticket options: $35 for author event only, $65 for author event and reception.
Join chef, author, and culinary rock star Gabrielle Hamilton for a talk about her book and life as the owner of Prune in New York City. This talk will be immediately followed by an evening soiree in the atrium of Skidompha Library. Under the glow of lanterns and live jazz, get to know Gabrielle better with our author meet-and-greet while enjoying craft cocktails, bites from King Eider’s Pub, and desserts from Barn Door Baking Co. Space is limited; please purchase your ticket in advance at the circulation desk or by calling 563-5513.
Foodie films ongoing! Check out these delicious flicks sponsored by The Lincoln County News:
– “The Big Night” (1996), Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m., Porter Meeting Hall. Stars Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, and Marc Anthony. New Jersey, 1950s: Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food. Free.
– “The Trip” (2010), Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m., Porter Meeting Hall. Stars Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, and Rebecca Johnson. Steve is asked to review restaurants for the U.K.’s Observer and is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob, who fills in at the last minute when Coogan’s romantic relationship falls apart. Free.
– “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (2009), Saturday, July 28 at 11 a.m., Porter Meeting Hall. Stars Anna Faris, Bill Hader, and Bruce Campbell. A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst. Free.
(Skidompha Library has been supporting our community since 1885 in downtown Damariscotta. You can find us online and view our full calendar at skidompha.org or on our Facebook page.)