FAM's Food Access Committee

At A Glance

Contact: 

Jack McKay

Location: 

Brewer, Maine

Primary Issue Area:

  • Food

Active since:

2016

Tax Status:

Ad-hoc

Core volunteers:

170

Community Size:

1,000

  • Adults and children planting seedlings in a raised garden bed.
  • Overhead picture of many people walking in a parade, carrying balloons, flags and a banner that reads "20 Years of Food AND Medicine"

Our Purpose

Food AND Medicine (FAM) organizes, educates and empowers low-income and working class communities to address issues resulting from and contributing to the social determinants of health, such as poverty and food insecurity. We use a hybrid of direct service and grassroots organizing, and foster longstanding partnerships with other local organizations to reach people who are forced to choose between food, medicine and other basic necessities. Our goal is to actively engage those directly affected by the issues to create positive solutions for lasting change. According to the USDA, nearly 14 million households in the US were food insecure in 2020. As of 2021, Maine has the highest rate of food insecurity in New England and is tied for sixth in the nation for very low food security (source: Feeding America). This has been exacerbated by the pandemic which increased unemployment, caused supply chain disruptions, and decreased the hours many people were able to work. FAM’s healthy food access programs work to reduce barriers for families, seniors, and individuals to gain access to healthy food, decrease the number of people suffering from food insecurity, support increased knowledge of gardening, food preparation and healthy eating habits, while building community where people tend to isolate. One facet of our food access programs is to facilitate and support collective gardens, which directly provide supplemental fresh produce to food insecure Mainers.