Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Dig Those Gardens: Maine Seniors Fight Food Insecurity


Monday, May 19, 2014   

BANGOR, Maine - Food insecurity is a problem that affects about 15 percent of Maine's population. It means people do not have access to enough nutritious food on a daily basis. A program involving volunteers age 50 and older is digging in to help.

The ENCore Leadership Corps each year trains about 250 older adults in a variety of volunteer areas. Jennifer Crittenden, who helps run ENCorps out of the University of Maine Center on Aging, says the focus of the Food Security Initiative is training people to aid those eligible for food assistance programs, helping out at food banks and pantries, and getting dirt underneath their fingernails.

"We have volunteers who work on community gardens," Crittenden says, "and this is the time of year when they're starting to think about setting those up. It's a great chance to bring community members together, and also to grow some fresh food that can be given out to families locally."

Across the state, more than one in five children is food insecure. Rural counties such as Somerset and Franklin have the highest rates, but Cumberland and York counties struggle with 19 percent child-food-insecurity rates.

Crittenden says helping fight hunger taps into a lot of baby boomers' desires to give back to their communities.

"Food insecurity touches Mainers of all ages. In particular, older adults and children are at most risk of really experiencing food insecurity. It is definitely an issue that hits home for many people," she explains.

ENcore works in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation. The Food Security Initiative was launched in part with funding from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

Crittenden says the recession and unpredictable layoffs and job elimination all have stressed the state's food banks and pantries.

"What we're trying to do is help give our volunteers the tools they need to successfully keep food pantries open, to look at sustaining those options as an emergency food source in their community," she adds.

ENCorps holds its annual Summit this weekend at Sebasco Harbor Resort, Phippsburg, where food security issues will be a focus of the community work discussions and networking.

get more stories like this via email

Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021