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2015 Magic Food Bus Season Begins

On July 2, 2015 the Magic Food Bus begins its fifth season of offering free, fresh, local produce, health information, and books for children and adults.

This popular project began in 2011 when Sedgwick School Librarian Margaret Bixby’s great idea was a perfect match for Healthy Peninsula’s Good Food Project. Since then, the Magic Food Bus has successfully expanded to Deer Isle, Stonington, and Blue Hill and often serves 30-50 people weekly in each town.

With an eye toward long-term sustainability, Healthy Peninsula has teamed up with several organizations to help with collection of produce, volunteer power, and broader community involvement. The most natural and exciting fit for collaboration comes through the UMaine Cooperative Extension/Maine Harvest for Hunger/Healthy Acadia Gleaning Initiative, where Hannah Semler is the lead coordinator who organizes a group of volunteers to collect food, which would otherwise go to waste, 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.

Another boon collaboration for MFB is with Farmdrop and its maven, Mary Alice Hurvitt. Not only will Farmdrop be the sorting site for the gleaned foods coming from all over the peninsula as well as the main supplier of locally purchased food for the three MFB sites, Mary Alice has also launched a fundraising opportunity right on the Farmdrop site. Customers can donate directly to the purchase of food for the eight-week Magic Food Bus program by clicking on the Magic Food Bus link and adding a dollar amount to their cart.

We have received generous support for the 2015 season from the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation and the Stanley Family Foundation, as well as a special gift from Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Leadership, funds that were secured through a grant written by a student who lives in Blue Hill. Thanks to The Tree of Life Food Pantry, St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church, and a private donor, we have been able to extend the Magic Food Bus season into the fall, keeping deliveries going out to the community throughout September and October.

Other local supporters include the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School Library, King Hill Farm, Eggemoggin Textile Studio, Peninsula Potters, Tree of Life Food Bank, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Flash! in the Pans, and most importantly, local farmers.

We are so grateful for the support of all of these organizations and individuals. Please give us a call or drop us a note if you’d be interested in helping make the wheels on the Magic Food Bus go round and round.


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