Since its beginnings in Sedgwick in 2011, the Magic Food Bus successfully expanded to Deer Isle, Stonington and Blue Hill and often serves more than 50 people weekly in each town. This year, we are pleased to announce that in 2016, the town of Penobscot will have a stop as well. With an eye toward long-term sustainability, Healthy Peninsula has teamed up with several partner organizations and energetic individuals to help with collection of produce, volunteer power, fundraising, and broader community involvement.
The most natural and exciting fit for collaboration continues with the Healthy Acadia Gleaning Initiative
. Hannah Semler, Gleaning Coordinator, organizes volunteers to harvest excess produce from farmers, orchards, farmer’s markets, and home and school gardens, and disperses them to local food pantries and community meal sites. The Magic Food Bus program is fortunate to be the recipient of much of this effort. Farm Drop, also newly operated by Healthy Acadia in partnership with Fairwinds Florist
Shop is our direct conduit to local farmers, allowing produce to be ordered from them directly and then distributed via the Magic Food Bus out into the community. Along with grabbing a book, visits to the stops may also include taste-testing, socializing with friends and neighbors and swapping recipes.
Our island partner is the Edible Island Culinary and Ecological Center
. Executive Director, Wes Norton, purchases local produce for his MFB run to the Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School, and drives the “bus” to five stops on the island weekly. Margaret Bixby continues to organize and drive the Sedgwick route. We are happy to announce that Anna Wind has joined the Magic Food Bus team as the local coordinator. Generously funded by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, Anna will also be making stops in Blue Hill and developing sites in Penobscot. Other important partners include the Deer Isle and Stonington Public Libraries, the Sedgwick School Library, and the Blue Hill Public library for providing good quality reading material for young and older folks alike.
Fundraising continues to be an important element in the sustainability of the Magic Food Bus. We depend on, and greatly appreciate donations through Healthy Peninsula
—where customers can donate directly to the purchase of food for the Magic Food Bus by clicking on the Magic Food Bus link and adding a dollar amount to their cart— and this year are honored to enjoy generous support from The Maine Community Foundation's Hancock County Fund, Bar Harbor Banking and Trust, the Tree of Life Food Pantry, Tradewinds, St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church, and Flash! in the Pans. Thank you one and all.