Support Our Mission
Food AND Medicine’s mission is to organize, educate, and empower workers and our communities in the fight for economic and social justice. Food AND Medicine believes that by working together with unions, farmers, community groups, small businesses, and faith-based organizations we will create solutions and positive change. Use the Donate button to make a general donation to support our work, without becoming a member.
Become A Member
There are many ways you can support and/or participate in our activities. A good place to start is becoming a member of Food AND Medicine. Membership dues are on a sliding scale, based on what you feel you can afford; suggested annual dues are $35. Many members contribute more in solidarity with our lower-income members.
Become A $0 Member
Can't afford a contribution right now? That's Ok! Member contributions are not only financial; volunteer, join a committee, or simply sign up as a $0 member to stand with us in support of our work. Every member counts! Use this button to sign up as a $0 member.
Food AND Medicine is a grassroots member-based organization that works to address the root causes of poverty. We strive to:
- Empower and involve those directly affected, to take an active, leadership role in bringing awareness and change.
- Be informed by a knowledge of our community gained through research, listening and outreach.
- Facilitate and sponsor events and educational programs, legislative and workplace organizing campaigns, and creation of alternative economic and cultural structures.
We believe it is an outrage for people in the richest country in the world to be forced to choose between food, medicine or other basic necessities.
We launched in 2002 after an avalanche of mill closures in Eastern Maine to provide support for laid-off union workers. We began with an aggressive, creative campaign to win health care benefits for workers laid off from Trade Adjustment Assistance certified plant closings, the first ever benefits of its kind in the US. As public consciousness of the reality of laid off workers grew, politicians, media, union members, and other concerned citizens all responded to assist union members by donating to give direct aid to laid off workers.
Food AND Medicine has over 500 annual members, primarily in Maine but also people across the country with a Maine connection. We are a diverse coalition of union members, workers and farmers; low-income community members; members of most faith and political beliefs; seniors, students and people of different abilities - all connected by a belief that nobody should have to choose between food, medicine and other basic necessities.
Our name is inspired by the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike in Lowell, Massachusetts. This historic, extremely violent strike was pivotal in worker rights. The term, Bread and Roses refers to the right of working people to have not only food or necessities (bread) but also nice things in life (roses).
Join Our Email List
Want to stay updated on our work, upcoming events and news, but not sure if you want to join as a member? Sign up for our email list and get to know us.
Bangor's Bus Hub will STAY in Pickering Square!
HUGE VICTORY! On January 27, Bangor City Council voted 5-4 in favor of keeping the bus hub downtown in Pickering Square. This has been a battle for EIGHT long years, as a number of wealthy developers and others have been pushing to move the hub anywhere else. The City invested in two costly transit studies, both of which concluded, for a number of reasons, that the ONLY viable location is Pickering Square.
Hundreds of bus riders, drivers and supporters turned out to a number of workshops with the City to share their stories on why the hub should stay put. City staff put together a beautiful plan for improvements to the area, which can now proceed, including green space and a new bus terminal, using federal grant funds that were pending this decision.
We are incredibly proud of the work and support of our members, especially Transportation for All, a coalition of bus riders, drivers and supporters organized by Food AND Medicine. We thank the five Bangor City Councilors who stood firmly with us in this difficult campaign.
An update on where things are at with FAM. We have adopted the following measures:
- FAM staff are all encouraged to work remotely.
- We are following protocols of wiping down door handles and the like and we are discouraging foot traffic in the hall.
- All FAM meetings and events are either canceled or will be done digitally.
FAM is taking stock of what we may bring of value to people in this crisis. FAM was born after the 9/11 crisis when whole industries in our region began closing and people’s livelihood ended. Thousands found themselves choosing between food, medicine and other basic necessities. With each plant closing, there was much suffering - divorces, upended lives and several suicides. At that time, the Bush Administration offered billions of tax money to airlines but none to the airline workers who lost their jobs. FAM’s mission was to elevate the voices of people directly affected and work for policies and actions which would aid those suffering hard times.
We face the prospect of very hard times ahead. Now is the time for love and solidarity.
We are currently looking at FAM’s strengths and where we can be of the most help. We have the volunteer capacity to feed over 10,000 people during Thanksgiving. Our garden project provides not only food, but helps people with isolation. We have have strong partnerships in the labor, non-profit and faith communities. We are looking at partnering with local groups to provide food directly those who are most in harm’s way during this crisis.
This pandemic is exposing the great inequities in our society - be it access to paid sick time, affordable healthcare or transportation. In the coming days and weeks, we will add our voice calling for a more equitable and just society.
If you’ve got particular concerns, or resources you’d like to share at this time, please let us know. Stay well, stay healthy, and please reach out to family, neighbors and people you know who may not have a strong support system.