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As farmers, we think about Food Insecurity

June 12, 2016

Maine has a high rate of poverty, a high rate of food insecurity. Good Shepherd‘s latest statistics show that among Maine residents, 16.2% are food insecure. Maine ranks twelfth in the nation for food insecurity and first in New England. Nearly one out of every four Maine children face hunger. According to Census data and the Coastal Enterprise Institute, the majority of Maine’s population find themselves in areas that are both low income and low-access to supermarkets; this is especially true in rural Maine.

Like all of our fellow farmers, we at Lakeside remain deeply concerned about our friends and neighbors who do not have enough fresh, healthy food. We participate in Mainers Feeding Mainers, the Good Shepherd Food Bank initiative that gets Maine-grown produce to Mainers in need. We work directly with some of our neighbor pantries like Safe Place in Corinth.  This year we are also participating with the Maine Farmland Trust in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant, which provides matching funds for SNAP-eligible recipients purchasing fresh local fruits and vegetables. With FINI, we are offering our WorkPlace and SchoolPlace FarmShares to SNAP-eligible Mainers. Many of our WorkPlace subscribers have generously donated a week(s) share, which we are also happy to be able to deliver to someone in need. Be in touch with us with ideas about how farmers can partner with others to help with this confounding issue.

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