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.
Ready to pitch in?
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, from $0 upward, based on what you feel you can afford; suggested annual dues are $35. Many members contribute more in solidarity with our lower-income members.
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 partially inspired by the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike in Lowell, Massachusetts. This historic strike was crucial in the development of worker rights in the United States. 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.
COVID-19 Solidarity Response:
An update on where things are at with FAM. We have adopted the following measures:
- FAM staff are all working remotely.
- We are following safety protocols and we are discouraging foot traffic in the hall.
- All FAM meetings and events are either canceled or will be done digitally.
We are re-focusing our efforts during this emergency to support local food insecurity, in partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank and the United Way: (1) We are organizing volunteer support for Bangor area food pantries who are overwhelmed and who are regularly staffed by volunteers who are retired or otherwise at-risk and can't be there right now. (2) We are organizing volunteer drivers to deliver food to community members who may not be able to get to pantries right now. (3) We are organizing volunteers to reach out to our community members to help direct them to resources they may need, including food and help with applying for unemployment or other needs. And (4) we will be raising funds to purchase food from small Maine farms who have lost much of their income due to restaurant closures, and bringing that food to the low-income community.
You can help by donating to our Covid-19 Solidarity Response effort. These funds will go to direct costs related to the pandemic, such as mileage/gas for volunteer drivers, support for pantries and food purchases from farmers. Food AND Medicine will not take any of these funds to support staff or overhead costs. Any direct support funds not used during the pandemic response will go toward Solidarity Harvest.
Organizing this effort takes a lot of work by our staff. If you're able, donate to FAM to help keep the wheels turning on this effort and our other work. You can support our work by either Become a Member or make a general donation using the links above.