MAINE'S FOOD SYSTEM NETWORK
VISION & MISSION
Our vision is 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.
WE'RE STRENGTHENING MAINE'S COMMUNITIES & FOOD SYSTEMS!
From Bangor to Bethel to Brunswick, our network is composed of community food councils throughout the state that are all working hard on improving their local food systems. We come together as a network to help one another out, but each individual councils has it's own unique structure, membership and areas of focus and action.
The Maine Food Convergence formed in 2019, with the intention of convening organizations, networks, groups, and individuals to catalyze collective action towards the goal of a thriving Maine food system that is equitable, just, and regenerative. The Network of Community Food Councils is a partner organization in this endearvor.
There are a number of groups all throughout Maine that are doing excellent work towards transforming our food systems, as well as those systems that impact, or are impacted by our current food landscape. A goal of the Network of Community Food Councils is to build lasting relationships with these groups, so that we might all benefit from each others' experiences and knowledge, and have a greater impact on Maine's food system.
ABOUT THE NETWORK
The Maine Network of Community Food Councils (MNCFC), founded in 2011, is a network of community-based food councils from around the state. We work together to amplify the great work that local councils do in their own communities, and to help each other replicate our successes. We do this through monthly meetings, ongoing communications, an annual summit, and shared fundraising efforts. 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 supporting the development of new food councils in Maine, and to sharing the steps, timeline, resources and outcomes of projects with any interested councils from the MNCFC network. We are also committed to working with other likeminded groups throughout the state to make real, lasting improvements to our food systems. MNCFC is currently a part of some exciting statewide collaborations including the Maine Food Policy Work Group and the Maine Food Convergence Project.
MNCFC is organized by our statewide coordinator, Darcy Cooke, who works closely with our lead team to guide the overall direction, funding, and collaboration of the network. Any local council member can request a position on the lead team. Current lead team members are: Ken Morse and Scott Vlaun (Community Food Matters, Norway), Bonnie Pooley (Local Food Connection, Bethel) and Harriet Van Vleck (Merrymeeting Food Council, Sagadahoc County). To learn more about our network, email us at: email@example.com.
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. It is fueled by statewide participation from hundreds of local food businesses and organizations.
Through local food asset mapping, community food councils are actively exploring and documenting their regional food systems. This map helps us to see where our local food systems are currently at, and how our councils can address gaps in food access, production, connections, ect. It also provides information about food focused businesses that are already in operation so that we can better support and promote their work.
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 describe their work, load photos, and independently manage their postings over time.
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 and grow its functionality, but to enable more local council members to continue curating the atlas for their region, so it can be as robust and up-to-date as possible.