I was sitting at the breakfast table this morning getting ready to start a new week (and a new month…) and enjoying a typical breakfast of cereal with fruit, OJ and, of course, coffee. As I read through my online version of today’s Portland Press Herald I was taken back to read about the growing number of Mainers who are straining to put food on the table. An estimated 200,000 Maine people go hungry each day…..many of them seniors and children. Then I came to the line about how many seniors have come to consider fresh fruits and vegetables a luxury item. This one really hurts. These are not luxury items….these are basic necessities. Not only are they basic necessities but fresh fruits and vegetables are vital to healthy eating and good nutrition. Without good nutrition and preventative care our healthcare costs go up, financial challenges ensue and many Mainers are right back where they started: hungry.
It’s days like these that make me proud to work for an organization doing what we can to teach Maine people about where their food comes from AND to help make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible to residents in need. Last year, our Teen Ag program grew and donated more than 4,000 lbs of fresh produce to Freeport Community Services and to the Brunswick Food Pantry. Our goal is to double this number in 2013. You can help us achieve this goal by becoming a member (or renewing your membership) and by attending our upcoming Sustainable Soiree’ (silent and live auction) on April 27th at Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn. Another way we are trying to help fight hunger in Maine is by hosting this year’s Taste of the Nation Maine event. You can learn more about the Taste event here.