Shannon Grimes, Nutrition Incentive Program Manager

Shannon Grimes came to Maine for college, and has stuck around ever since.  She grew up in New Zealand and Montana, both incredibly beautiful, natural places, but Maine tops the list with the ocean, lakes and nearby mountains. In addition to paddling, swimming, and hiking, Shannon loves to cook and bake, and tries to eat as locally as possible (you can read about some of her adventures in cooking on her blog, Dancing Tree Kitchen). The one thing that rivals her love of food is her love of dance, and she would love to see more of a Lindy Hop scene in the Midcoast!
Q: What is your role at MFT? 
A: I manage the nutrition incentive programming here at MFT, expanding access to local food for low-income Mainers. That includes coordinating the Maine Local Foods Access Network, and working with our amazing partner organizations to implement incentives (called Maine Harvest Bucks in our state) at various market types. I also manage MFT’s work focused on bringing incentives to retail stores and food hubs, so I work directly with those types of markets to design, implement, and advertise the program; and am a little involved in some of the policy implications of this work.
Q: Why do you work for MFT?
I want to live in a place where community, land, nature, and people are integrated. MFT is working towards that, both in the way we holistically approach issues, and what we’re doing to harmonize Maine’s food sectors. Not to mention that food itself is a wonderful nexus.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you look forward to working on?
I’m excited to be figuring out what about local food gets people excited, and how to share that enthusiasm.
Q: What are goals you’re psyched about that are important in your role?
I hope to learn how to better represent and engage people we work with or are trying to serve—and not just at the beginning of a project, but continually.