MAINE'S FOOD SYSTEM NETWORK
The Maine Network of Community Food Councils (MNCFC) has a vision for our state to have resilient, vibrant and self-reliant local and regional food systems, so that all Maine communities will have enduring food sovereignty and our citizens will have access to healthy, local food.
Our mission is to increase the capacity of local level food systems efforts through collaboration, coordination and resource sharing, resulting in sustainable, sovereign food systems across the state of Maine.
MAINE'S COMMUNITY & FOOD
From Bangor to Bethel and Brunswick, our community food councils are covering Maine and working hard on local food system transitioning. Community Food Councils work together across Maine as a network to increase local food system work through collaboration, coordination and resource sharing.
Through local food asset mapping, wes are actively exploring and documenting their regional food systems. This work provides essential baseline information necessary for rebuilding food systems, assuring food security for all, and improving the social, economic, environmental, and health impacts of our food.
A New England Food Vision is a story about the future of our region. Because it centers
on food, it’s a complicated story: it not only involves many characters, settings, and facts,
but it has multiple endings—or, more precisely, alternative futures. Local food is just a means to an end: it is useful only if it delivers real social benefits.
ABOUT THE NETWORK
Community food councils work together across Maine as a network to increase local food system work through collaboration, coordination, and resource sharing.
In addition to the impact made a within local communities, food councils also contribute to food systems change throughout the state of Maine through participation in the Maine Network of Community Food Councils (MNCFC). MNCFC, founded in 2011, is a network of 12 community-based food councils from across the state, which promotes amplification of local work and replication of successful efforts through monthly meetings, ongoing communications, and an annual summit, as well as opportunities for funding. Participation in MNCFC allows council members to share insight into successful local strategies, troubleshoot common challenges, and be inspired by the work of other councils. We are committed to sharing the steps, timeline, and outcomes of our projects with any interested councils from the MNCFC network in an attempt to spur the adoption of similar projects in various communities.
Add your information to the MAINE FOOD ATLAS!
The Maine Food Atlas is a collaborative project created and administered by the Network of Community Food Councils and Center for Community GIS and fueled by statewide participation from hundreds of local foods businesses and organizations.
Through local food asset mapping, Community Food Councils are actively exploring and documenting their regional food systems. This work provides essential baseline information necessary for rebuilding community food systems, assuring greater food security for all, and improving the social, economic, environmental, and health impacts of our food.
The Maine Food Atlas encourages diverse food operators—growers, processors, farm to school groups, food security organizations—to use the website and put themselves “on the map.” Users can establish free Maine Food Atlas accounts, which allow them to richly describe their work, load photos, and independently manage their postings over time.
As the Maine Food Atlas grows, Community Food Councils will provide mid-level support and serve as regional moderators for listings in their respective service areas. Through “curated crowdsourcing,” assigned local food council members will be alerted whenever a new listing is added. They will also be available to reach out to help folks create robust, beautiful listings.
The Atlas was launched in "beta" format in May 2015 following pilot mapping work in Oxford County. The site will continue to evolve and improve. Feedback is great, so please tell us what you think.
The Maine Network of Community Food Councils is seeking partners to grow and enhance the Maine Food Atlas and welcomes opportunities to discuss and explore collaborations and partnerships.
Initial funding for this phase of work was provided by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. Additional funding is being sought to not only expand the Atlas’ functionality, but to help us engage and train other Community Food Councils statewide in the use of the Atlas.