MAINE'S FOOD SYSTEM NETWORK
Elections are over! Do you know where your newly elected representatives stand on these issues? It's not too late to ask!
Our elected representatives have influence over how our local, regional and national food systems work. We need to let them know that we believe a just, healthy and sustainable food system in not only possible, but necessary. We need to advocate for this in our communities, our state and our world. Our network created this list to help our members spark conversations with their local candidates about food systems issues. Now that the elections are done, we're keeping these up a little while longer for folks who want to reach out to their newly elected representatives. Call or message them and ask any (or all!) of the questions below. Let them know a better food system matters to you.
1. Maine currently imports approximately 90% of the food we consume. If elected, how would you work to help increase local food production and access to local foods in our state?
2. As we work together to expand local shares in food purchasing in Maine, we must also ensure that the workers who bring these foods to market are treated fairly. What policies/practices would you support to help ensure fair wages and working conditions for Maine’s farm workers?
3. How would you support farmers in dealing with PFAS testing and contamination issues, and how would you help ensure that the lessons learned in Maine help our neighbors in other states?
4. What policies or investments would you support to protect farmland and increase farmland access?
5. What policies/actions would you support to ensure the continued protection of Maine’s lobster industry as well as Maine’s water ecosystem and species?
6. Last year Maine became one of the first 2 states in the nation to provide universal school meals to our children. If elected, how would you ensure continued support and funding for this program?
7. The Maine Legislature has voted to move forward with the implementation of the “Everyone at the Table: Maine’s roadmap to end hunger by 2030.” If elected, how would you help support the funding and implementation of this plan?
8. At the federal level, both the Farm Bill and the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act are set to be revised and reauthorized in 2023. If elected, how would you identify and then help advocate for the priorities of our communities in these bills?
9. What strategies would you support to reduce food waste in Maine?
10. What strategies would you support to provide tools, access and education to enable the next generation of farmers to successfully utilize sustainable or regenerative farming practices?
11. How would you work to ensure that BIPoC food system stakeholders: consumers, workers, farmers, landowners, and others - have equitable access to opportunities in all aspects of the food system?
12. What are three of your priorities that reflect your commitment to food security and the development of healthy food systems in Maine?
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.
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 be successful in our efforts. We do this through monthly meetings, resource sharing, annual summits, shared education and shared fundraising efforts. We are committed to supporting each other, as well as the development of new food councils in Maine. We are also committed to collaborating with friends and allies throughout Maine, New England, and beyond 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.