Our Mission Statement
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.
In 2001, an avalanche of layoffs in Eastern Maine began, with over 1,000 jobs lost to outsourcing by year’s end. Union members teamed up with allies to reach out to those workers who had lost their jobs due to trade. Out of this organizing arose what became Food AND Medicine (FAM), a committee of laid-off workers and union members whose goal was to fight for laid off workers and build a broad coalition for working families.
Our Board of Directors 2020
Food AND Medicine’s (FAM’s) Board of Directors is made up of 15 dedicated members of the community who serve three year terms. Our Board is strictly volunteer, meets at least six times per year, and is very active in our programs, events, and decision-making for the organization. All of the Board photos used here were taken at Food AND Medicine events. (June update: Three new Board members have been added to fill vacancies; their info will be posted soon.)
Kati Corlew, PhD
Kati Corlew, of Hampden, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Maine, Augusta's Bangor campus. Her expertise and focus is on the psychology of poverty – both on the effects of being poor and how the poor are treated by others. Kati manages a community garden on campus and food pantry on campus, because of the high rate of food insecurity among students. She was first elected to the Board in 2017, and the Board elected her President in 2020.
Heinrick Snyder, of Bangor, is an artist, choreographer and dancer, and works as a pizza delivery person. Heinrick has been active with FAM since 2010 and has led several projects that combined his creative interests with working for social justice, most notably the Living Labor Mural on our building. He was first elected to the Board in 2012.
Samantha Le grew up in California, and has spent most of her adult life on the East Coast. She is trained as an optometrist. She is currently one of the “leaders” of the Civic Engagment Group. She is a Steering Committee member of the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine. Sam grew up watching her recent immigrant parents work in the horrible sweatshops of the 80’s and 90’s. Sam joined the Board in 2019.
Erin Oberson-Brogden, of Old Town, is a Registered Nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center and is a shop steward in the Maine State Nurses’ Association, National Nurses United and Vice President of Eastern Maine Labor Council. She is active in the community, particularly around the issue of workers’ rights and economic justice. She has spoken at several Food AND Medicine events, including her experience protesting the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at Senator Susan Collins’ office. Erin was elected to the Board in 2019 and the Board elected her Vice President in 2020.
Robert (Bob) Toole, Jr.
Bob Toole, of Glenburn, Maine, is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1837, working as a Customer Service Representative for Emera (formerly Bangor Hydro). He also serves as Recording Secretary for Eastern Maine Labor Council. Bob has been very active in nearly every FAM project since 2003 and was first elected to the Board in 2008. He served as Board president for many years, stepping back in 2020.
Reverend Dr. Mark Doty
Rev. Dr. Doty, of Brewer, is the Senior Pastor with the Hammond Street Congregational Church, UCC in Bangor, which he led in becoming an open & affirming congregation. He is active in numerous civil rights and LGBT rights causes. Mark was one of the visionaries behind FAM’s faith organizing group Faith Linking in Action (FLIA) and is now on the FLIA Board and is active in Transportation for All. He was first elected to the Board in 2010. Rev. Doty is stepping down from the Board in June 2020, because he is moving out of Maine. He will be missed!
Marc Cryer, of Orono, is Director of the Bureau of Labor Education at University of Maine, a department dedicated to providing education, information and research to workers and labor organizations in Maine. He is a California licensed attorney with a background in public sector labor relations, collective bargaining, and workplace conflict resolution. He teaches non-credit classes in Labor Relations, Arbitration, and Union Management and is an instructor in the Labor Studies Minor. Marc is on the Advisory Committee of the University of Maine’s Diversity Leadership Institute and normally teaches in the sessions on social class and inequality and religious tolerance. Marc has been involved with FAM for several years and often speaks about labor issues at FAM events and was elected to the Board in 2018.
Treasurer & Steering Committee
Kevin Gregory, of Millinocket, Maine, was a laid-off paper mill worker and current peer support worker for the Katahdin area. He is president of the local Firemen and Oilers Union in Millinocket, and a member of the Millinocket school board. Kevin is a talented auctioneer, hosting our annual Solidarity Harvest Auction. He has been active in FAM since 2003 and was first elected to the Board in 2010.
Loren Snow, of Surry, is a retired truck driver from the Maine Department of Transportation, and an active retiree of MSEA-SEIU, Local 1989. Loren was first introduced to FAM when he received a Solidarity Harvest meal basket, for which he now volunteers annually. He has been very active in FAM since 2010, and is an outspoken supporter of workers’ rights and was first elected to the Board in 2012.
Theodore (Ted) Rippy
Theodore (Ted) Rippy, of Bangor, is a retired direct care worker, and former organizer and secretary of Maine State Employees Association (MSEA)-SEIU, Local 771, a union of direct care workers. He is a past member of the national Board of Direct Care Alliance. He relies on the Community Connector and is active in Transportation for All, and was first elected to the Board in 2009.
Gordon Provost, of Bangor, is a restaurant worker and part-time student. He has volunteered to manage the Food AND Medicine greenhouse since 2016, growing all of the seedlings for our community gardens project, and recruiting and managing backup volunteers. He took the initiative to grow and sell hot peppers in late summer that he sells to local restaurants to recover some of the costs for the greenhouse, and also organized fundraisers featuring the peppers at two of those local restaurants, raising money and community awareness of FAM. Gordon was elected to the Board in 2019.
Director & Co-founder
Jack McKay, of Bangor, is a former school teacher and experienced union organizer. Jack has been with FAM since it began in 2001. Jack grew up in Bangor, where he lives with his two sons, their dog, chickens, and various other critters that keep the boys busy. A member of National Association of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), UAW Local 2320, Jack also serves as President of the Eastern Maine Labor Council, AFL-CIO and is on the executive board of Maine AFL-CIO.