The Food Studies Program is fortunate to have numerous community partners working to address the hunger and nutritional needs of our community. With these profiles, we hope to highlight the work of those partners.
BELFAST & PORTLAND – Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) is a statewide organization that supports farmers, protects farmland, and advances the future of farming. The organization was founded in 1999 by a group of farmers and farm advocates who sought to protect farmland throughout the state of Maine.
One focus of MFT’s work is farm viability – providing technical assistance and market development services that help farmers thrive. Creating opportunities for food-insecure communities to access more Maine-produced food is an important part of this work. MFT’s innovative nutrition incentive program, Farm Fresh Rewards, provides bonus local fruits and vegetables to low-income shoppers at participating retail stores. MFT is also a founding member of the Maine Local Food Access Network, a coalition of Maine organizations that are dedicated to expanding access to local foods for low-income customers, and operates Veggies for All, a “food bank farm” that grows vegetables for those in need.
Other aspects of MFT’s work include farmland protection through the use of agricultural easements; farmland access, aiding in the transfer of farmland from existing landowners to new farmers; and public outreach and policy to educate the public and policymakers about issues affecting Maine agriculture.
To support local food access, MFT suggests educating yourself about farming and food access in Maine, sharing this information with family and friends, and joining MFT in their mission by becoming a member.
Veggies for All harvest by Brendan Bullock for our Feeding Maine exhibit with Good Shepherd Food Bank.