Abby Farnham, Food Access Project Coordinator, Southern Maine
Abby Farnham grew up in rural Waldo County in a house built by her father, where she spent her childhood roaming the woods with her brothers. Her love for her home state runs deep and she brings her passion for all things Maine to her job as MFT’s Food Access Coordinator in Southern Maine.
Q: What is your role at MFT?
A: I work with the Farm Viability program, supporting the southern Maine local food aggregator markets, like food hubs, co-ops, other small retail stores, that MFT is working with through our USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant. We’re bringing nutrition incentives to more markets, and aim to help low-income community members find and afford Maine-grown foods, while simultaneously building market opportunities for farmers.
Q: What do you love about working here?
A: I love that MFT takes a comprehensive approach to supporting our food and farming system—protecting farmland and ensuring it stays available for agriculture forever; supporting new infrastructure and training to help farm businesses thrive; and then not only telling Maine’s story of farming to the public in creative and compelling ways, but actively working to include more people in that story. And this latter point is what drew me most.
Q: What are you the most excited to work on right now?
A: Strategizing creative solutions to meet the demand for Maine-grown foods among low-income consumers. The nutrition incentive projects MFT is working on are some of the first local-based, retail incentive programs in the country, so it’s really exciting to be part of the troubleshooting, system development and learning that comes with that. The staff at these markets are incredible for taking this on with us!