Veggies for neighbors in need
Food insecurity in Maine
Food insecurity, defined as limited or uncertain access to adequate food, is a widespread problem in Maine. According to Good Shepherd Food Bank:
- 1 in 5 of Maine’s children are food insecure
- 13.6% of Mainers, roughly 181,000 people, are food insecure
- Maine ranks last in New England and 38th nationally for food security
With so many of our neighbors going hungry every day, and with the cost of high-quality food out of reach for many, Growing to Give was born through the work and passion of several like-minded friends and neighbors.
How we help
We grow first-rate, high quality, organic produce – food that we believe everyone should be able to put on their family’s table, but is cost prohibitive for many. This food is delivered 3x/week to more than 20 local organizational recipients including food banks, pantries, Head Start centers, low-income elderly housing complexes, school backpack programs, WIC programs, and community kitchens that feed thousands of local people. We partner with volunteers from the Merrymeeting Gleaners, the Androscoggin Gleaners, and the Cumberland County Food Council to harvest and distribute, often within hours of harvest, our produce to those most in need in Brunswick, Bath, Lisbon Falls, Lewiston, Harpswell, Freeport, among others.
Over our first three growing seasons, Growing to Give grew and donated more than 35,000 lbs. of organic vegetables to neighbors in need, while expanding the use of biochar across all fields, and while hosting many hundreds of volunteers and visitors who learned about food security, healthy food, biochar, electric farm equipment, and other climate-friendly farming practices.
We believe the way we farm matters. We need to nourish the earth that nourishes us. This is how we do that:
- Grow vegetables that are certified organic by MOFGA.
- Amend our soil with carbon-sequestering biochar.
- Use biointensive and permaculture farming practices.
- Use mostly electric farm equipment, partially powered by PV.
Why do we farm this way?
The vast majority of climate experts say:
- The climate is changing.
- These changes are largely due to human activity.
- Humans can slow down or reverse these changes.
In addition, even people who are skeptical about the claims of these experts are increasingly reaching the conclusion that the potential risks of climate change are so large that it’s worth taking action now. At Growing to Give, we have chosen to take action by adopting climate-friendly farming methods as one of our values.