2.2.23 | Food Literacy News
Through these weekly letters, I am afforded the time and opportunity to reflect on our work at Skidompha. It’s important to me to share our news and to let you know that in between ordering for our collection and helping you to check those books and other media in and out of the library, our team is also working to bring programs and services to our community that will support and enhance. And it’s a lot of fun to do some “horn tooting” to show off some of the exceptional work our staff does here at Skidompha. During my three and a half years at Skidompha, I’ve always had news to share.
Many of our programs aim to address needs in our community, and this year we have been working with CLC YMCA, Healthy Lincoln County, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine to address food literacy.
Between February and May of 2023, Skidompha Library will offer a series of workshops focused on meal planning, kitchen skills, food safety, the social impacts of food, and more! The first offering in this series is a 6-week Cooking Matters workshop offered by Lincoln County SNAP educator Larissa Hannon and hosted by the Central Lincoln County YMCA. These family-friendly cooking classes will allow participants to practice making fun and tasty recipes. The first workshop will take place on Saturday, February 18, at 9:30 a.m. You will find more information about this first workshop below. Registration is required. To register, please email Larissa Hannon at email@example.com or call 207-622-7566 ext. 204.
We will announce additional workshops in the coming weeks! The Focus on Food Workshop Series is made possible through funding from the John Andrews fund and partnerships with CLC YMCA, Healthy Lincoln County, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine. We are grateful for their generous support and for these important collaborations.
In 2019, Feeding America estimated that residents of Lincoln County experienced a food insecurity rate of 12.2% (n.d.b), which was almost 12% higher than the national average for that year (Staker, 2022). The children of Lincoln County alone experienced a food insecurity rate of 19.9% (Feeding America, n.d.a) in 2019 – a staggering 36.6% higher than the national average (Stacker, 2022). Though more recent survey data has not yet been released, it is a reasonable and logical assumption that the global pandemic and recent price inflation have only exacerbated issues of food insecurity in Lincoln County.
In recent years, libraries have begun offering food literacy programs as one way to address and combat issues like food insecurity. The Food Literacy Center defines food literacy as “understanding the impact of [one’s] food choices on [one’s] health, environment, and economy – and understanding that these impacts are not experienced equitably” (n.d.). To help patrons explore this definition, librarians around the country have started to offer resources and programming that focus on topics such as meal planning, understanding nutritional information, accessing food in different contexts, culinary skills, and the environmental impact of food consumption, among others (Dodge, 2020).
Skidompha Library has been fortunate to have forged a partnership with Healthy Lincoln County and now offers a Little Free Pantry of freely available food, snacks, and hygiene products here at the library; however, we are taking our efforts further by joining the food literacy movement and offering access to food literacy programming and resources.
We are grateful to all of you who take the time to read our news each week and support the library financially through your patronage, borrowing books and media, and attending things like these and other library events.
Skidompha Public Library
Dodge, H. (2020). Gather ‘round the table: Food literacy programs, resources, and ideas for libraries. ALA Editions.
Feeding America. (n.d.a). Child food insecurity in Lincoln County before COVID-19. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2019/child/maine/county/lincoln.
Feeding America. (n.d.b). Food insecurity in Lincoln County before COVID-19. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2019/overall/maine/county/lincoln.
Food Literacy Center. (n.d.) What is food literacy? Retrieved May 26, 2022, from https://www.foodliteracycenter.org/what-food-literacy.
Stacker. (2022, February 5). Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in Maine. https://stacker.com/maine/counties-highest-rate-food-insecurity-maine.