Food Studies Program



Upcoming Events


Linked below is a list of the latest food-related events. The list is updated by Food Studies faculty, so check back often!



Past Events

21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge
March 30-April 19, 2020
Save the date! Food Solutions New England is hosting their sixth year of the Challenge! We'll post more info as we have it. We're also offering a 1-credit Pop-Up around this challenge. Learn more here.

Maine Hunger Dialogue

October 23-24, 2020
University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, ME

Save the date for this exciting event! As info becomes available, it will be posted on the MHD website.


Portland Candidate Food Forum
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney, University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
October 23, 2019
The Portland Food Council hosted this question-and-answer-styled forum. Portland's Mayoral candidates were asked about food security, food-based business development, and Portland's working waterfront. This was a non-partisan event designed to provide more information from candidates and voters. You may listen to the audio (MP3) version of the Forum here or view the video below.

Common Ground Country Fair

Unity, ME
September 20, 21, and 22, 2019
The Food Studies Program had a booth at this year's Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, ME. The CGCF is put on each year by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association whose mission "educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities."

6th Annual Betta Ehrenfeld Public Policy Forum: Work and Labour Issues of the Food Service Industry
September 18, 2019
Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
Portland was the setting for a candid policy discussion about worker and labor issues of the food service industry. Featured:

  • David Weil of Brandeis University, former head of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama and author of The Fissured Workplace
  • Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California Berkeley and author of Behind the Kitchen Door and Forked: A New Standard for American Dining
  • Panel discussion with Professor Michael Hillard, Director of Food Studies at USM, and Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO


Food Studies Program Earth Day Celebration
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
The Food Studies Program celebrated Earth Day with a seed-planting activity. This event was held in two locations - the Woodbury Campus Center Amphitheatre and the Glickman Library Arcade.

21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge
April 1-21, 2019
Food Solutions New England hosted their fifth year of the Challenge! Participants from across New England and the rest of the country took part in this year's effort which included updated daily prompts, a new launch webinar featuring Dr. Eddie Moore, a Discussion Guide for groups, and much more. Participants discovered how racial and social injustice impact our food system, connected with others, identified ways to dismantle racism and became better leaders for a more just, equitable food system and world.

2019 Principle 6: Cooperatives Build a Better Maine
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Cooperative Development Institute, Lewiston, ME
Once a year, co-op supporters from across Maine get together to meet, network, share experiences and learn how we can work together to grow Maine's cooperative economy. Our name for this conference, Principle 6, comes from the 6th of the seven internationally recognized cooperative principles, "Cooperation among Cooperatives." This year's theme was "Cooperatives Build a Better Maine: Building Skills, Connections, and a Movement." Workshops featured practical skill-building, as well as strategy discussion and movement building conversations. This conference was co-sponsored by the Food Studies Program.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind film showing
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. Based on the best selling book and true story of William Kamkwamba. This film, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, was directed by and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and introduces Maxwell Simba. Watch the trailer here.

Hungry for Change: A Food Policy Forum
Friday, March 22, 2019
The forum included presentations on child nutrition, local food access, and racial and economic justice, as well as information on how participants can advocate for policies that improve our food system.

2019 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit
March 14-16, 2019
This year's UFWH Summit was co-sponsored by the Food Studies Program at the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and the Maine Campus Compact. The theme for the 2019 UFWH Summit was Fighting Hunger in a World of Plenty: Shifting Power and Taking Action. UFWH is a coalition of institutions of higher education dedicated to educating students in all disciplines about the causes of hunger and to training and encouraging them to take effective action, both at home and abroad. UFWH began as a partnership between Auburn University and the United Nation’s World Food Program. Since its inception in 2006, the coalition has come to include students on 300 campuses and has brought over 100 university presidents from 29 countries together as signatories to PUSH (Presidents United to Solve Hunger).

Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty Book Tour
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices - from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA - have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to our decline from 14% of all growers in 1920 to less than 2% today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, Black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems. Soul Fire Farm is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programs such as the Black-Latinx Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid. With the new book Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm extends that work by offering the first comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim our rightful place of dignified agency in the food system.

An Evening with Barton Seaver
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Chef Barton Seaver is on a mission to help restore relationships between people, ecosystems, and cultures of our world - through dinner. This event was co-hosted by the Food Studies Program and the Environmental Science and Policy Department at the University of Southern Maine.

Under Contract
Film Showing
Thursday, January 31, 2019
For the first time in a full-length documentary, contract farmers tell their stories and industry experts reveal how the corporate production model pits farmer against farmer. Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print takes audiences on a road trip across the American South and to Southern India to understand what’s happening to farmers living under contract and what we can do to change our food system for the better. The story of the contract farmer is the story of what’s changing in rural America. Power in agriculture is changing hands, but few people know what’s happening to the farmers producing our food. Under Contract tells this story through the lens of global poultry farming. In the U.S. alone, 97% of the chicken produced is raised by family farmers under contract with large companies. Around the world and all across agriculture, contract farming is taking hold. But farmers who sign contracts often face unfair challenges and hidden risks under the terms that are offered by large firms. Under Contract provides a timely glimpse into the little understood fine print of modern agriculture. Watch the trailer here.

Food History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research live stream
Thursday, November 15, 2018
This event was a joint session with IHR's Women's History Seminar. The paper presenter was Molly Laas (University of Goettingen Medical School). The paper was entitled "W.O. Atwater and the Minimum Diet for Democracy."

Selling Up: Business Succession in Maine's Food-Based Economy
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Selling a food-based business while maintaining its essential character and role in the local food economy is no small task. It's never too early to start planning! This event hosted Maine experts and food-based business owners, farmers, and fishermen who have successfully transitioned their businesses, be it to their employees, their children, or to unrelated buyers. Break-out sessions included worker ownership models, legal and financial considerations, and family dynamics. A resource entitled Maine's Food-Based Business and Farm Succession Technical Support and Planning Service Providers was compiled by the Food Studies Program from this meeting. You can find it here.

There Is My Home film showing
October 18, October 25, and November 8, 2018
This 30-minute documentary features Hawa Ibrahim and Batula Ismail, two women trying to support their families as farmers in Maine. Born and raised in the Jubba River Valley of Somalia, both learned to farm at a young age from their parents. When civil war broke out in 1991, their villages were repeatedly raided for food. Thousands of friends, family and fellow villagers were brutally killed. Hawa and Batula fled and eventually reached safety in refugee camps in Kenya. In 2004, they were resettled in Dallas and Baltimore respectively. But they struggled to adapt to city life. In 2004 they learned of a place called Lewiston, Maine — a small northern city close to farmland. That's where this story begins.


Common Ground Country Fair
September 21, 22, and 23, 2018
The Food Studies Program had a booth at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, ME. Along with spreading the good word about our Program, Professor Cheryl Laz also offered a CGCF Pop-Up course.

Maine Coast Harvest
film showing
September 7, 2018
Maine Coast Harvest is a series of short documentary films designed to highlight the economic and employment opportunities presented by Maine’s burgeoning aquaculture industry. With a 3,500-mile coastline, an abundance of clean water, and a strong fishing and processing infrastructure, Maine has the potential to lead the nation in aquaculture. Yet, despite our vast advantages, the state has not fully realized the enormous opportunities that aquaculture offers. In these first two films, you will meet two multi-generational fishing families in Maine who have taken the leap into aquaculture and are reaping the benefits. This film demonstrates why aquaculture holds great promise for young people and entrepreneurs who want to join the movement as well as providing diversification opportunities for those who make their living fishing the sea.

Christine Kinealy
May 6, 2018
Christine Kinealy, acclaimed author and Director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute, spoke at the University of Southern Maine. Her topic was Charity and The Great Hunger. Christine has published extensively on the impact of the Great Irish Famine and has lectured on the relationship between poverty and famine in India, Spain, Canada, France, Finland and New Zealand. She has also spoken to invited audiences in the British Parliament and in the U.S. Congress.

Spring 2018 Food Security Gubernatorial Dialogue
April 30, 2018
The Food Studies Program at the University of Southern Maine, the Cumberland County Food Security Council, Preble Street, and Good Shepherd Food Bank, hosted a nonpartisan candidate forum. All of the sponsoring organizations are concerned about hunger and food security issues in Maine, and believe that these issues deserve a prominent place in this year’s Maine Governor and legislative races. The format of this event was a moderated question-and-answer system, with each candidate receiving equal time to provide a response. The questions were generated by the sponsoring organizations. Questions were also be taken from the audience. All candidates for Governor, including Republicans, Democrats, and those running as Independents, were invited.

Ending Food Insecurity and Poverty in Maine:

A Working Policy Symposium to Frame Problems, Causes and Solutions for the 2018 Election
March 30, 2018
The goals of this symposium were to convene top Maine experts on the causes and solutions to poverty and food insecurity in Maine; engage a diverse group of experts, activists, students and citizens to deliberate about the nature of these causes and solution; and produce a set of policy frames to inform journalists and citizen engagement on issues of food insecurity and poverty for the 2018 Governors’ and State Legislative elections in Maine. Below are a list of meeting materials from our presenters Christine Hastedt (Maine Equal Justice Partners), Jan Bindas-Tinney (Preble Street), Clara McConnell (Good Shepherd Food Bank), and James Myall (Maine Center for Economic Policy). 

Nancy MacLean
March 28, 2018

MacLean's talk, “The Civil Rights Era Origins of Today’s Mortal Threat to Participatory Democracy,” explored the connection between the efforts of southern white supremacists’ efforts to repel the implementation of the famous Brown Versus Board of Education Supreme Court decision, and the modern drive to suppress the votes of people of color, along with relentless and often effective billionaire-funded campaign to eliminate unions, privatize public education, and curb majority rule. Duke University historian Nancy MacLean’s widely regarded new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America presents the never-before-told story of a Nobel Prize winning economist who created the blueprints for a modern assault American democracy and civil rights. The economist, James Buchanan, is not a household name, but his work was influential in 1950s’ resistance to integration by Virginia segregationists, and he later became a key intellectual architect for fascism in Chile and the drive by the infamous Koch Brothers to suppress American democracy in the 21st Century.

Mark Winne
November 15, 2017

From 1979 to 2003, Mark Winne was the Executive Director of the Hartford Food System, a Connecticut non-profit food organization.  He is the co-founder of the Community Food Security Coalition where he also worked as the Food Policy Council Program Director from 2005 to 2012. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Fellow, a Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Visiting Scholar, and a member of the U.S. Delegation to the 2000 Rome Conference on Food Security. He is most well-known for his book Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty. His upcoming book, Stand Together or Starve Alone: Unity and Chaos in the U.S. Food Movement, will be released at the end of 2017. Through his own firm, Mark Winne Associates, Mark speaks, trains, and writes on topics related to community food systems, food policy, and food security. He also serves as Senior Advisor to the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Mark delivered a talk on the role of public policy in addressing food insecurity.

Donna Beegle
October 18, 2017
Donna Beegle, president of Communications Across Barriers, is a nationally-acclaimed expert on understanding the causes of and solutions to poverty and hunger. She works directly with children and adults living in poverty, as well as all professionals who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty. Donna delivered a keynote address along with a panel of several local activists. This was followed by a training entitled Breaking the Iron Cage of Poverty and Hunger.



Should you need accommodations to attend any of our events, please contact Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt, Administrative Specialist, Food Studies Program, via email at or by calling (207) 780-4490.