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.
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).
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.
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.
16th Annual Labor Day Celebration
Despite the rain, well over 150 people came to the Solidarity Center to celebrate the work, struggles and victories of the local labor movement. Food AND Medicine co-hosted the annual picnic with Eastern Maine Labor Council on Monday, September 2, 2019.
We welcomed special guests and speakers including Maine's CD2 US Congressman Jared Golden; Maine Senate President Troy Jackson spoke about collective bargaining of loggers; and a fiery keynote speech about the need for universal healthcare was given by labor activist Jose La Luz (pictured right). The crowd enjoyed grilled hamburgers from a local farm, hot dogs and local corn on the cob, as well as a pot luck spread.
Twelve portraits from Robert Shetterly's series Americans Who Tell the Truth were on loan on display in the Solidarity Center, including Mother Jones, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Maine's own Peter Kellman.
September 2019 Events
Free screening of the documentary No Small Matter, Wednesday September 25, 2019, at Bangor Public Library. This important film highlights the need for quality childcare in young children. Co-sponsored by Food AND Medicine / Faith Linking in Action, Bangor Public Library and Maine Association for the Education of Young Children.
Open discussion Wednesday, September 25, 2019 6-8 pm at the Solidarity Center, about the harmful effects of stigma - including poverty and hunger, LGBTQ, mental health, substance use recovery, and more - and what we can do about it.