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, more than 1 million meals each year.

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, 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.

While the expansion of the Food Security Hub is underway, the Preble Street Food Programs team is able to make approximately 2,000 nutritious and delicious meals each day in the current space. Once the Food Security Hub is complete, we will be able to create up to 10,000 meals per day.

“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.”

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. 

While addressing urgent food security needs, the Food Programs team and volunteers are raising the bar in terms of the nutrition, freshness, quality, and deliciousness of the food they create each day.

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 2021. 

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.

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.

Another partner, the 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

Getting Food to People Who Need it Most

Food insecurity and hunger continue to grow in Maine; the pandemic and rising food costs are driving more people to their local food bank or pantry. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Preble Street has produced and distributed more food than ever before – over one million meals a year – and increased output by

Read More »

Preble Street receives $1 million to focus on food insecurity in Maine

Hunger in Maine has grown substantially since the pandemic began and Preble Street is on track to provide over 1 million hot and pantry meals for the third year in a row. Because of this drastic increase in demand for food, Preble Street launched its new Food Security Hub in South Portland, a sustainable, comprehensive,

Read More »

Innovative partnerships to end hunger!

Pictured above from left to right: Heather, DoorDasher; Mark Swann, Preble Street; Devin, DoorDasher; Natalie Varrallo, Preble Street; Representative Mo Terry; Scott Morelli, City of South Portland; Sarah Lawrence, Office of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree; Tina Kennedy, DoorDash On Wednesday, November 16, Preble Street and DoorDash announced their innovative partnership to address food insecurity in Cumberland

Read More »

Sustainability Efforts at the Preble Street Food Security Hub

Food production and energy use are two of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. While climate change affects all of us, people living in poverty are most vulnerable to its impacts, including rising temperatures, natural disasters, and potential global threats to food security. Recognizing the potential outsized impact on socially

Read More »

More than food

People experiencing food insecurity often rely on the emergency food system to have enough food to eat. Unfortunately, because pantries and soup kitchens are often underfunded and rely on donations, the food they provide is regularly highly processed and contains excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. This highly processed food retains very little

Read More »
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn