Food Security Now!

Official Project

The Problem

1.Food Security Now! is a citizen centered approach aimed to cultivate a greater understanding of our food security needs in downtown Lewiston. The process will bring together partners representing diverse populations of the downtown in order to create concrete action steps to strengthen our local food system. Food Security Now! will address the need for low-income consumers to have improved access to affordable nutritious food year-round, and the need to connect low-income consumers to local farmers. In 2004, Empower Lewiston (EL) began asset mapping within the community to determine what the community has and what the community still needs. Maps looked at unemployment rates, education, income, and proximity to fresh vegetables and affordable food. EL discovered that residents downtown pay more for basic necessities at their local shops than they would if they went to a grocery store. Few stores had any produce. These data were important factors when the Downtown Education Collaborative (DEC), started talking with local organization, Lots to Gardens (LtG), about conducting a city-wide community food assessment. LtG expressed a need to better understand what food assets were available to people downtown and the state of the current food system. Without a secure source of fresh and wholesome food, people are more prone to diabetes, high blood pressure, low self-esteem, and depression.

Plan of Action

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