MOUNT DESERT — Healthy Acadia and Impact Justice will hold a dinner and conversation about food justice in Maine’s prisons and jails on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at College of the Atlantic’s Beech Hill Farm in Mount Desert. The evening will feature a locally-sourced meal provided by Sassafrass Catering, live local music, and special guest speakers who include food justice advocate Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and Maine’s Commissioner of Corrections Randall Liberty. The event will benefit two new projects geared to improve the quality of food available to incarcerated residents of Maine.
In partnership with the Washington County Jail, Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Restorative Harvest project will establish a garden that benefits jail residents and the broader community by increasing access to healthy food and providing work.
Impact Justice, which sparked a national conversation about the poor quality of food in prison through its 2020 report, Eating Behind Bars, is teaming up with chef Dan Giusti and his company Brigaid to launch Chefs in Prisons. This first-of-its-kind pilot project aims to improve food service operations and serve healthier meals in all of Maine’s prisons and also provide culinary training to incarcerated people.
“We look forward to bringing people together for an evening of inspiration, beauty and an unforgettable culinary experience, and to learn about these two amazing projects poised to improve access to healthy foods in jail and prison, which is essential to setting jail and prison residents up for success in life,” said Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia’s food programs director.
A limited number of tickets are available for sale starting Thursday, Aug. 18, by emailing [email protected]. Tickets are $275 per person. Proceeds will be divided equally between Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Restorative Harvest project and Impact Justice’s Chefs In Prisons project.
To learn more about Downeast Restorative Harvest, email Katie Freedman at [email protected] or call (207) 667-7171. For more information about Chefs in Prisons, email Erica Lawson at [email protected]
Event organizers will have volunteers checking proof of COVID-19 vaccination as people arrive and are given table assignments and encourage attendees to do an antigen test day of and not to come if they are symptomatic. The event will be outside and the tent will have open sides.
Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.