The Merrymeeting Food Council (MFC) is a collaborative network of farms, fisheries, businesses, nonprofits, government, and individuals working together to advance the food system in the 14 towns surrounding Merrymeeting Bay.
- Connect consumers to affordable, healthy, local, and sustainable food through communication, education, and increased access.
- Support the production, processing, and distribution of Maine food and the needs of food system workers.
- Strengthen the local food system by building a resilient and connected food system network.
MFC accomplishes it’s goals through three key pillars:
MFC seeks to advance a thriving, resilient, and equitable food system that supports the health and natural resources of our communities.
MFC envisions a greater portion of the area’s food supply to be raised, caught, processed and consumed locally. This food system will protect and enhance natural resources, and create robust, meaningful economic and civic opportunities for the residents and visitors of the greater Merrymeeting Bay area.
History & Background
Merrymeeting Food Council launched as a network of farmers, fishermen, non-profits, businesses, government, and individuals working together to advance our local food system.
MFC is an exciting grassroots outgrowth of the Local Farms – Local Food (LFLF) project started by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in 2012. LFLF was started to enhance the local food economy, raise awareness of the benefits of local food, and increase farmland conservation in the southern Midcoast region. Through this project, the land trusts:
- Gathered baseline data and took a snapshot of farms at that time
- Hosted roundtable meetings
- Realized the need to have leadership and collaboration in the community
- Recognized the abundance of great ideas that needed facilitation and leadership
LFLF brought together a group of farmers, government leaders, nonprofits, and others to draft a mission and vision for a Food Council. They also conducted the Food, Farms, and Fisheries Assessment (FFFA) with the help of Bowdoin students – a snapshot of our local food system.
MFC’s launch meeting was a gathering of over 80 farmers, fisheries advocates, policymakers, nonprofits, restaurants, institutional buyers and many others working within the regional food system.
The objectives were to:
- Learn about the food system in the Merrymeeting region and how having a food council could significantly improve the system.
- Make specific plans for establishing a Food Council including: Identify top priorities for activities, Establish Work Groups, & Decide immediate next steps
- Get to know each other, connect with helpful resources in the region, and develop enthusiasm for our future work together.
You can read the Launch and Stakeholder Meeting Draft Meeting Report (November 5, 2015) by clicking here.