Above, raised beds at Wayside's Walton Street facility.

Other Programs and Partnerships to Address Food Insecurity

Wayside is combating food insecurity in Cumberland County on a number of fronts

CATERING COLLECTIVE

Wayside's Catering Collecive supports schools and social and cultural groups whose work celebrates and strengthens our community with a focus on preserving and sharing Portland's abundance of cultural traditions. This program provides prepared meals, ingredients, and snacks to community events hosted by non-profit or civic groups who could not otherwise provide the food on their own with the intention of gathering community members around the table and strengthening support systems for youth and their families. For more information on Catering Collective, please email Jenni Casas.

DAIRY COOPERATIVE

In partnership with Oakhurst Dairy, Wayside operates a dairy buying cooperative for Cumberland County food pantries. By purchasing milk and other dairy products together in bulk, the pantries are able to share cost savings while providing their clients with nutritious and highly sought after food.

KIDS' HEALTHY SNACKS

This program provides healthy snacks to after-school and summer programs in Greater Portland. Wayside partners with a growing number of programs to provide supplemental food to children at risk of food insecurity. Our partners in this endeavor have reported that being able to provide snacks at their centers helps students focus and participate more fully in their programs. Kids' Healthy Snacks partners include Portland and Westbrook Community Policing Centers, Portland Housing Study Centers, the Opportunity Alliance, Portland Family Shelter, Portland YMCA, Goodwill AmeriCorps Youth Programs, and Yarmouth Community Services.

NEW ENGLAND ENTERAL EXCHANGE DISTRIBUTION SOLUTION (NEEEDS)

An innovative program to distribute unused medical nutrition formula to patients in need. Formula is used by patients who require feeding tubes, which may be needed by patients undergoing cancer treatment. After completing treatment, patients may have extra formula, which cannot be returned to distributors. To provide this unused formula to patients in need, Wayside has become a formula pick-up center for patients and drop-off center for donors in a partnership with Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute and New England Life Care. 

MAINE HARVEST FOR HUNGER

An outreach program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to food insecure individuals and families in Maine. Wayside works with the Extension to distribute the produce grown at a number of HFH gardens to food pantries throughout the county. For more information about Harvest for Hunger and how to donate, click here.

MAINE HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY

A cooperative program between the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) within the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. This program provides a means for hunters to donate all or a portion of their hunt to a family in need. For more information about Hunters for the Hungry, click here.

POP UP PICNICS

An annual summer series of collaborative, community building meals at Portland's public gardens. Hosted in collaboration with Cultivating Community and supported by a number of partner organizations and businesses, these gatherings are a chance for the community to enjoy a free dinner, meet their neighbors and explore the gardens. 

THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEFAP)

A federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. TEFAP provides food and administrative funds to states to supplement the diets of these groups. Wayside Food Programs works with the Maine State Department of Agriculture to administer and distribute the food for this program to eligible food pantries and soup kitchens in Cumberland County.

WAYSIDE GARDEN

Wayside maintains a raised bed garden at its Walton Street facility to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for use in its community kitchen. Volunteers help maintain the garden throughout the growing season. Our garden is part of the Maine Harvest for Hunger Network. In addition to our 7 raised beds, we also maintain a Pollinator Garden and are members of the Portland Pollinator Partnership.