About The FSC…
Sponsored by the United Way of Mid Coast Maine and the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, the Food Security Coalition is made up of representatives from 17 food pantries and soup kitchens in the Mid Coast region. By working together, the FSC seeks to identify ways to increase their volunteer base, sources of food, and fundraising efforts.
Results of the Coalition’s efforts include (but are not limited to):
- Increased financial contributions
- Increased food donations
- Pantry listings can be found on 211
- Comprehensive brochure of area food pantries developed
- More media outreach generated
- New appliances and supplies donated to pantries
- Streamlined food distribution between pantries
- Introduced new educational programs about nutrition and government assistance
What’s next for the Food Security Coalition
In 2015, FSC member food pantries that reported the age distribution of their clients reported 8% of clients were 65 and over. Feeding America reports that 17% of people over 60 are food insecure. Discussion have begun on whether there are more seniors who could benefit from pantry services. Due to FSC member pantry’s rural areas, many seniors may be isolated and unable to access services.
The FSC aims to provide training sessions for member pantries after surveys are used to find information areas in need. These areas may include poverty awareness, network analysis, succession planning, computerization, volunteer recruitment, and grant writing.
Some member pantries may well undergo leadership transitions in coming years. The FSC will work to capture their knowledge base to be passed on to the next leaders, put transition steps into place, and to assist them in identifying and grooming new leaders.
The Merrymeeting Food Council, Lincoln County Food Council and the Cumberland County Food Council are engaged or will be engaged in projects to increase awareness of food insecurity, food waste and greater access to local produce and food. Similar events and projects in the greater midcoast area may be beneficial as well.