Our Mission is to improve food security in the Piscataquis Region by connecting people with sources of healthy food.

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Contact Us:

76 North St. / PO Box 264

Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426-1041

P: (207)343-0171 or (207)802-8230

E: info@prfoodcenter.org

Interview with Karen King, Operations Manager DFAFC

Did you hear the news? The Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard is changing their distribution times? Starting February 8th, 2019, the cupboards hours are going to be FRIDAYS from 9am to noon, then 1pm to 3pm, on the 2nd and 4th FRIDAYS of the month. Let's talk to Operations Manager, Karen King, about the time change. Q: Hi Karen! Can you tell us why the food cupboard hours have changed? A: We decided to change the days and times of the food cupboard for several reasons: -To lessen the wait for our customers, -To be able to feed more people in need, and -To help distribute and make the work load our volunteers put in a little easier. Q: What would you like people to know about

Poverty from a VISTA perspective

When Erin Callaway first sat down with me and discussed the role of a Goodwill Americorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) at PRFC, I admit, I thought I KNEW about hunger. I lived in Michigan growing up, and my family worked with a program that sheltered the homeless during the winter months. My husband and I would go to inner city Detroit and hand out food and hygiene kits to the homeless. We worked with organizations to help gain awareness for what it was like to be homeless. I KNEW about hunger. We moved to Maine 14 years ago before the birth of our first child. We wanted a different way of life than what we experienced as kids. We now have 2 beautiful children being raised i

Small Steps Make for Great Strides

I’d like to share a bit of a story. This story is from an Americorps VISTA perspective, about what I remember as concepts to what I see now, in full operation at the Piscataquis Regional Food Center. I started working with Erin in the spring of 2016 as her first Americorps VISTA for Piscataquis Healthy Food For All. I am amazed to see the current large strides she and her team and the community have made with Piscataquis Regional Food Center, which started out as small steps. During my VISTA year the focus was on FarmShare for Homebound Seniors (then just a pilot project!), increasing the number of Summer Meal sites in our county, assisting the clients of our local food cupboards in getting

Kids, Poverty, and Help

As parents, we all want the very best for our children. Many parents in the Maine Highlands are challenged though – because they lack resources and supports to really “do” the things that they want for their child. Our region has the highest poverty in the state – yes, even more than Washington County! It doesn’t mean that most people aren’t working if they are able; it means often that they are working more than one full time job that doesn’t pay a livable wage. Wages haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, which I am sure we all have noticed in one way or another. Perhaps most concerning to me is the high amount of food insecurity that kids in our region experience – about 1 in every 3

Food Center Spotlight--Steve Grammont

Hi all! My name is Steve Grammont and I’m the other half of the PRFC co-founding team, with Erin being the other half. In order to not duplicate Erin’s December 14 blog post about food security I’m going to write about the food production side. Since moving here 20+ years ago we’ve found ourselves becoming more and more involved with local food. At first it was because it tasted great and was fresher than the “foreign” foods (you know, from California!), then we felt the urge to help support those who make the things we love to eat. From our food producing friends we learned a lot more about the challenges they face producing and getting food to markets. Since I have a family backgroun

Wednesday's with Whitney

"Where to start with an anti-inflammatory diet?" Welcome back! Today we dive into where one might start when thinking about tackling inflammation. Increase your fruits and vegetables! Hands down-that is my number one recommendation. Not only is that my ultimate recommendation for most people I talk to, but is it also where I would start with an eating plan that focuses on anti-inflammatory properties. What exactly is inflammation anyways? Acute, or short-term, inflammation is our body’s way of protecting itself from harm. It is part of our immune response to infections, toxins, or injuries. When inflammation becomes chronic, or long-term, it increases our risk of developing many chronic dise

"No Shame in the Game"

It came to my attention a month or 2 ago that a friend of mine had been very mean to another one of my friends, publicly shaming her for occasionally using the food cupboard. This is unacceptable to me; it reminds me of what my passion is in the work we do at PRFC. I am passionate about ending the stigma surrounding being poor, using SNAP and the food cupboard, of needing a little help. We all know that person that says “My tax dollars this, my tax dollars that…” or “well, they have a fancy phone/painted nails/nice car/etc; they don’t need help…” But guess what, we all also know someone who has probably needed help at some point. There is no shame in the game. No shame in needing help. No

Judgement

When you look at this photo what do you see? Do you see a young professional? Someone who is well off? Someone put together? Now, place her in line at the grocery store, with a cart full of juices, cake mix, chips, and other goodies in her cart. And the card she pulled out of her wallet to pay is a EBT card from SNAP (otherwise known as food stamps). Where did your mind just go-- did your assessment of her change? Did you suddenly look more closely at the foods she was purchasing, and question her poor choices in food? Did you think "what a waste of my tax dollars right there?" There are a lot of assumptions we, as humans, make on small amounts of information. Did you stop and think w

Commodities Boxes Have a New Home

December marked the first time that Commodities Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) boxes were distributed here at the PR Food Center. What is CSFP you ask? It is a government-funded programs designed for low income seniors (60+) to help improve their health by supplementing their diets with USDA foods. Monthly food packages include shelf stable milk, juice, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, canned fruits and veggies, and much more. In Piscataquis County (Penobscot, Hancock, and Washington too) CSFP is managed by Eastern Area Agency on Aging in partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank. Each month, Good Shepherd packs and delivers CSFP boxes to designated locations in each county. EAAA voluntee

Poverty Isn't What You Think It Is...

January is National Poverty Awareness Month. If you have been to Center Theatre recently, or opened up The Piscataquis Observer or Eastern Gazette, you have probably seen an ad that looks something like this: Does 18% seem high or low to you? That is the number of people in our county currently dealing with poverty. Nationwide, 43% of the population experiences poverty lasting 3 or more months in a given 12 month period. When President Johnson declared The War on Poverty in 1964, this is what we thought poverty looked like. It looked like someone in a far away place who was different from us. It wasn't viewed as something that happens to nearly half of the country. 50 years later, w

New Grant and 2019 Programming Coming

We are excited to share that Piscataquis Regional Food Center has received a $3,700 grant from MCD Public Health to provide training on how to help community members apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. The training features materials delveloped by Americorps VISTA members working at Maine Hunger Initiative at Preble Street. Last March, we brought the MHI training to a small group in Piscataquis. Thanks to the MCDPH grant, PRFC will be offering the same program again in 2019. The great news is this time, we are going bigger! There will be 4 sessions, 2 in Piscataquis County and 2 in Penobscot. The class, which is free and open to anyone who is interested