Maine Food Plan Creation Initiative

Staff and faculty in the USM Muskie School of Public Service, including Executive Director Mark Lapping;  Samuel Merrill, Director of the New England Environmental Finance Center (NE/EFC);  Barbara Ives of the NE/EFC; Bruce Clary, chair of the Public Policy & Management (MPPM) masters program; Tanya Swain, a 2009 MPPM graduate, and Amanda Beal, a USM graduate, will undertake the creation of a Maine food plan with funding from a collaborative including the Sandy River Charitable Foundation, Kendall Foundation, Broad Reach Fund, John Merck Fund, and Maine Community Foundation. 

The $100,000 grant will support a phased, multiyear initiative to develop a strong, abundant, and resilient food system strategy to enhance value-added production, processing, and distribution of Maine food throughout the state.  Currently, only 20% of the food consumed in Maine is produced within the state, and food insecurity is a rising issue. The initiative will address ways to position Maine as a center of production, create more and better Maine food for Maine people, increase job opportunities through appropriate infrastructure, encourage investments in new food development and food entrepreneurs, revamp local food preservation and distribution, and educate communities on proper food preparation.