Summer Update 2022
Thanks for checking out what's going on, and we hope you are having a wonderful summer.
For this update we have guest poster and board member Jeremy Bloom who will share some comments about why our projects are so incredible and how they relate to our journey.
BikeMaine is in Lincoln for 3 days of rides
MFSC is working with community groups to serve dinner Friday night through Sunday breakfast. Menu link
Our local purchasing estimates about $18,000 in food to serve with 65% from local sources across Maine.
"This is truly amazing. Sporting events like this are normally filled with pizza and potato chips and cheap beer where everything ends up in the landfill. It's been a personal dream to "green" events like this, and we can thank customers who can afford the price of the ticket to pay for the effort. With our team's specialty of food service led by Ron Adams, a spectacular menu is available for the hungry riders as they travel around Maine's beautiful landscape. As they go, they'll have some of the best food there is here in Maine. I'm seriously hungry reading Ron's menu."
USDA Farm to School Implementation grant with Sheepscot Valley and Western Foothills districts entered year 2 with a farm training in Turner Maine
Quote of the day from a nutrition staff person,
"Why can't we do this every year?"
"I was honored to be here. I experienced a handful of school kitchen staff learning about farm food and connecting with the farmers. What it looks like, how it's picked, how to clean it and then the joy of having some of it for lunch. They heard from the farmers about how things are grown, the issues they go up against and their solutions. They also heard from Ron and Dave about food safety and preparation. And the stories from the staff of working with the kids and their food are fantastic. It doesn't happen in all school kitchens but thanks to MFSC writing grants and doing great work with farmers and schools, local food comes to life one school system at a time. You build the right thing with the kids and they'll grow up caring about their food."
The DACF AIIP grant announcement
(American Infrastructure Investment Program) highlighted 850 applications for $20M split between farms and processors. MFSC teamed up with member Steve Levy and Maine Food Group and was awarded $500K for investments. Sam Miller makes custom sauces at scale and led to the next item below.
MFSC teamed up with the Maine Food Convergence Processing Work Group
We applied for a Kendall Food Vision Prize and were one of 39 selected to apply. This is for a Maine Marinara Collaboration to produce sauce at the Maine Food Group for K-12 schools, hospitals and the Dept of Corrections. If awarded, this will span 2022-2024.
"I've known Ron to do things like this and frankly it feels like a model that can be used anywhere. And it's not much different than what happened in my own kitchen. Replace an ingredient you use a lot with one that you grow or comes from local farms. Like tomato sauce that goes in to how many school meals? It doesn't travel far on trucks, it's healthier, tastier, and preserves the local harvest."
Wayside Processing Grant from Sewall Foundation.
MFSC wrote this grant with partners Wayside Food Program and Farmers for Food Equity (Penny Jordan) to explore crops of cultural importance and how to process them for the charitable food system.
MFSC is managing this grant, writing the processing schedule to blanch greens. Wayside is conducting focus groups with African communities in Greater Portland. Penny Jordan is researching and harvesting crops from collard greens to sweet potato leaves to find alternative crops for Maine farmers to grow.
"After working in the Preble Street Soup Kitchen for a few years, I know what it looks like when people receive food they never ate before and have no choice but to eat it. People involved here make big dents in cutting costs and increasing health for the charitable food system. Unfortunately it rarely seems to be "enough", but I'm glad we are trying by getting local African food to Africans in need. And frankly, I've learned that sweet potato leaves are the bomb diggity!"
A Fond Farewell
Many thanks to Molly Stewart who has accepted a full time job in her social work field. Molly was instrumental as a program manager and contributed fully to the grant writing that has been successful so far. She was great at organizing all the work and keeping MFSC connected to DEI and moving forward.
We will miss you Molly!
Next Board Meeting
October 6, 2022, 9-1030 am