We want to thank all of our members, supporters and volunteers for a very successful 2015! With all of your work and generosity, we have made tremendous impacts this past year, some of which are highlighted below:
- Our 13th annual Solidarity Harvest was our largest so far, distributing 1200 Thanksgiving meal baskets that each feed 8-10 people. We added items to the baskets this year for the first time, like fresh local cider and beets. Almost 400 people volunteered their time to help put it all together, many bringing their children. Check out the Solidarity Harvest Media tab to see the local news and print media coverage!
- Our Transportation for All team organized “Ride the Bus! Month” to increase awareness and public use of the Bangor bus system. We have gained the support of members of the Bangor City Council, and a commitment from the Community Connector Superintendent to make a series of minor improvements to the bus system. This coalition team is comprised of Community Connector riders, as well as clergy, representatives of the Amalgamated Transit Union (Community Connector bus drivers) Local 714, PENQUIS CAP and others. In 2016 we plan to keep working on improving the bus system, with a goal of expanding bus service into the evenings and on Sundays.
- Through grants and fundraising, we are able to offer SNAP recipients a significant discount at three local farmers’ markets – 50% at Brewer; 50% at Ohio Street, which is also running a winter market for the first time this year; and 25% at Bangor, which is also open during the winter. SNAP discounts encourage more people to shop at the markets, supporting local farms. Food AND Medicine pays the discounted amount to the farmers’ market associations, so that the farmers receive their full price, while SNAP recipients enjoy healthy, local food. It’s such a great program!
- Our Child Care Team is organizing providers and allies to work with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to improve an onerous application process for the Child Care Subsidy Program.
- Our Jobs Team is working to connect people seeking better work with agencies that provide education and resources. We were also heavily involved in the effort to increase the minimum wage in Bangor, which was approved by the Bangor City Council on December 15, 2015!
We’ve got lots of plans for 2016 already in the works. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date news and event information. If you’d like to become a member and get on our email distribution list, please click here to Donate, or you can email FAM@foodandmedicine.org, or call us at 207-989-5860. We hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy 2016!