L-A Good Food Council gets grant, announces awards

LEWISTON — The Good Food Council of Lewiston Auburn has received a $4,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation Building Stronger Non-profits Fund to further outreach, education and community involvement projects.
The council also, on June 13, celebrated the third anniversary of the L-A Community Food Charter and announced five 2019 Food Charter Awards, given to area entitities that enbody one of five principals of the charter.
“We are grateful for the support from MCF, helping make our work possible,” said Katie Boss, Food Council chair in announcing the grant. “In particular, we are excited to move forward community education and engagement initiatives following outcomes of the LA Region Farmland Access & Food Economy Conference we organized with partners in Auburn on March 7, 2019.”
The Food Charter Awards were announced at a “Food and Water Lewiston-Auburn” networking event for those interested in agriculture, water and other natural resource topics, that was hosted by the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission and the council on June 13.
This years’ Food Charter Awards were given to the Lewiston Schools Nutrition Summer Food Service Program (Charter Principle: Food Security), The Lewiston Farmers’ Market (Charter Principle: Local and Sustainable Agriculture), Healthy Neighborhoods (Charter Principle: Leadership), the Auburn Conservation Commission (Charter Principle: Good Food Policy), and Blue Ox Malt House (Charter Principle: Working Landscapes & Community Infrastructure). “It is really our honor with these awards each year to shine a light on examples of the breadth and depth of the good work being done by local groups to improve Lewiston-Auburn’s food system from farm to fork,” said Julia Harper, GFCLA coordinator.
The Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn was formed in 2012 to create and support improvements to the food system of the Lewiston-Auburn community by fostering coordination between sectors in the food system, educating the public and serving as a forum for discussing issues, evaluating and influencing policy and supporting programs that meet local food needs. The LA Food Charter was launched by the GFCLA in 2016 as a way to highlight L-A’s community food values, build support for a more sustainable local food system, provide a framework for discussion by community members and decision makers and guide a consistent focused approach over time. The LA Food Charter was the first of its kind in the state to be drafted. The cities of Lewiston and Auburn have signed the Food Charter as have more than 270 individuals, businesses and organizations statewide.
For more information, visit goodfood4la.org.

PHOTO: Participants discuss farmland access challenges and opportunities at the sold-out Lewiston-Auburn Region Farmland Access & Food Economy Conference in Auburn on March 7, hosted by the Good Food Council of LA and nine additional organizational partners. With funding from the Maine Community Foundation, GFCLA will continue to carry forward from this convening community conversations about farmland access in and around LA. Photo (Gary Stallsworth photo)