Food Security Programs
Food brings us together. It is both a basic need and a powerful opportunity for connection. The Mission’s food security programs go beyond delivering groceries or hosting meals: we take a multi-faceted, holistic approach to reducing hunger for youth and families.
Each program builds a sense of empowerment while encouraging nutritious choices. By focusing on long-term healthy eating habits, we hope to impact this and future generations, creating sustainable, healthy communities.
Our food center offers nutritious food such as meat, dairy, eggs, whole grain bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Our school-based and summer camp programs, including the backpack program, make sure young people are nourished to take on their day. On the Downeast Campus, our farm stand and farm shares offer healthy choices to patrons from kindergarten to seniors. For those who cannot visit us, including more than 20 seniors, we deliver to their homes.
The Mission food pantry provides 12,500 monthly meals to Downeast families, including deliveries to approximately 100 homebound seniors.
Our food pantry staff and volunteers make sure that using the food pantry is just like shopping in your favorite general store. We keep regular hours and staff can have favorite items ready for shoppers, who are welcomed as friends and are invited to enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving. As in all our work, our approach to the food pantry honors each person’s dignity and provides an environment that supports their aspirations.
With fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and seasonings—including some locally grown at Folklore Farm—the Mission’s Farm Stand creates a cheerful farmers market experience for pantry patrons.
A quarter-acre organic vegetable garden on our Downeast Campus is farmed by volunteers from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners program who work alongside Mission staff. The vegetables from our garden are enjoyed by community members, distributed through the food pantry, and shared at Downeast Table of Plenty meals.
The Mission partners with the Eastern Area Agency on Aging and the Good Shepherd Food Bank to distribute food to senior members of our community through the USDA Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Each person receives a monthly selection of fruit, juice, vegetables, milk, cheese, grains, and protein.
Food In Schools
The Mission supports programs focused on nourishing children in our participating EdGE schools. These include a weekend Backpack program, school food cupboards and a farm share, providing a number of ways to get nutritious food to families in Washington County, where approximately one in four children are at risk of hunger.
Inclusive Food Distributions
The Mission’s Food Pantry serves a diverse community in western Washington County. To better provide for our Latinx neighbors, the Mission partners with Mano en Mano to source, store and distribute ingredients needed for Latinx recipes.
Our work is your work, made possible by your generous gifts.
No matter how hard times get, the Mission will be there, helping sustain and strengthen families and communities. Please join us. Your donations bring warmth when it’s cold, shed light where it’s dark, and give strength when burdens grow heavy.
Contact us to donate, volunteer, or arrange for planned giving.