Women for Healthy Rural Living (WHRL) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation for their Incredible Edible Milbridge project.
“Support from the Maine Community Foundation translates to expanded food production for the 2021 growing season. This means we can feed more of our neighbors,” said WHRL executive director Christine Kuhni. “The gardens have become a point of pride for local residents, providing food, educational experiences, and a sense of community.”
Incredible Edible Milbridge includes a 14,000 square-foot pick-your-own vegetable garden next to the Red Barn Motel and a 19,000 square-foot garden at Milbridge Commons Wellness Park. Along with providing more than 8000+ pounds of free, organic produce each year, Incredible Edible offers educational opportunities for youth and adults to learn more about food independence and to engage in healthy living choices through gardening, cooking, and more.
At 17%, Washington County has the highest rate of food insecurity in the state. It also ranks last in the affordability of healthy food options. The County Health Rankings show Washington County last in overall health outcomes. In 2020, even before COVID reached Washington County in significant numbers, the economic impact of the pandemic was evident. Food insecurity saw a big jump. Incredible Edible Milbridge, which has been thriving since 2013, was well-positioned to meet these expanding needs.
Headquartered in Ellsworth, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.
Photo: Volunteers Ora Aselton and Rhonda Keller at the Incredible Edible garden at Milbridge Commons Wellness Park. Photo by Zabet NeuCollins