Food Security Hub

A sustainable, comprehensive, and collaborative approach dedicated to ending hunger in Maine

Hunger is an everyday reality for too many Mainers. Because of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic crisis, Preble Street is currently producing and distributing more food than ever before. For the second year in a row, Preble Street is on track to provide more than one million meals to people in need.

Because of this drastic increase in demand for food, Preble Street is launching a new Food Security Hub, a sustainable, comprehensive, and collaborative approach dedicated to ending hunger in Maine. The Preble Street Food Security Hub, the first food hub in Maine focused on food insecurity, is located at 75 Darling Avenue in South Portland. When completed in 2023, this 30,000 square foot mixed-use space will function as an industrial kitchen, food processing center, educational/vocational site, office space, and conference center dedicated to collective advocacy work and efforts to end hunger.

“Our goal is to create a comprehensive food system that extends the life of food, reduces food waste, creates more access to culturally appropriate meals, and provides more sustainable and nutritious food. This is the time to learn from the pandemic, think big, and look for innovative ways to bring food insecurity in Maine to an end. We hope that more organizations and people in Maine will join us on this journey.”

Mark Swann, Executive Director, Preble Street Tweet

About the Preble Street Food Security Hub

The Preble Street Food Security Hub will provide a dynamic space to combat food insecurity through partnerships and collaboration — bringing more meals and grocery boxes to clients in need. 

Phase One of this project is underway and Preble Street Food Programs, which has operated at 252 Oxford Street in Portland since 1993, relocated to 75 Darling Avenue in South Portland in mid-November. 

Our vision is that the Preble Street Food Security Hub will decrease food insecurity in our community, create strong and effective community partnerships, and bolster local agriculture and environmental sustainability.  Employing one central location, multiple organizations can address food access and food justice in creative ways under the same roof. This cohesive effort will build economies of scale and increase awareness of and support for anti-hunger efforts, including culturally appropriate foods—a vital component of combating hunger and a sustainable food system in Maine. 

An Industrial Kitchen
Featuring the space and equipment necessary to efficiently produce a large volume of healthy meals.
A Food Processing Center
To increase access to nutritious fruits and vegetables year-round and mitigate waste.
Dedicated Conference Center and Office Space devoted to Ending Hunger Advocacy Efforts
A place to focus on finding solutions, research and advocacy for ending hunger in Maine
Previous
Next

Partners & Support

Preble Street has received initial funding for this $8 million project from several organizations, including significant support from the John T. Gorman Foundation, which advances and invests in innovative ideas and opportunities that improve the lives of Maine’s most vulnerable people. The John T. Gorman Foundation is providing a gift of $1 million, half of which has a matching requirement. Preble Street is looking to raise an additional $500,000 to meet that challenge and secure these funds.

“Throughout the pandemic, Preble Street and other organizations have done an incredible job of not only meeting a dramatically increased need for food assistance, but employing new ways to reach people and ease access. This new Food Security Hub is poised to build on that momentum, making it possible to provide high-quality and culturally-appropriate meals to even more people and foster collaboration among organizations working together to address this critical need. The John T. Gorman Foundation is privileged to support this initiative and the pivotal role it will play toward ending hunger in our communities.”

Tony Cipollone, John T. Gorman Foundation President & CEO Tweet

A key partner in this effort is Good Shepherd Food Bank (GSFB), which sources and distributes food to more than 500 community-based organizations working statewide to improve access to nutritious food for Mainers experiencing hunger. Recognizing that a “meals-to-go” model offered not only optimal safety during a public health crisis but also improved client experience, GSFB is eager to support this partnership that fills a critical gap in “to-go” meal options, increases the capacity for culturally appropriate meals, and creates space for partners to collaborate on strategies to end hunger in Maine.

The Hannaford Charitable Foundation, whose mission is to invest in creating and sustaining  healthy communities in their five-state region by providing financial support to nonprofit organizations and programs that focus on improvement of the root causes impacting the quality of life for our customers, associates and neighbors, is also a key supporter of the Food Security Hub.  Hannaford understands that ending hunger in Maine requires new, community-centered resources such as the Food Security Hub, which will not only help connect those at risk of going hungry with easy-to-access meals but also provide a space for people to work together toward ensuring that no one goes without the nutritious food they need.

Other currently committed partners also include The Locker Project and the Cumberland County Food Security Council. The Locker Project will utilize the Food Security Hub to provide access to healthy food at 34 public schools in southern Maine. Cumberland County Food Security Council initiates and facilitates collaborative action toward a just, resilient, and sustainable food system that ensures equitable access for all people to enough healthy food. CCFSC includes people with the lived experience of poverty, community leaders, and representatives from local food security organizations who are leading the efforts to end hunger in Cumberland County and across Maine.

Learn more

Remembering the Preble Street Central Kitchen

Monday, November 15 was a bittersweet day — it marked the last day of meal preparation at the Preble Street Central Kitchen. The Central Kitchen (also known for many years as the Resource Center Soup Kitchen) served millions of meals in its 28 years and played a vital role in the community for clients, staff,

Read More »