Why Now?

Down where we are, food is used as a political weapon. But if you have a pig in your backyard, if you have some vegetables in your garden, you can feed yourself and your family and nobody can push you around.” – Fannie Lou Hamer, civil and voting rights movements and a leader in the efforts for greater economic opportunities for African Americans

Why is the Right to Food for Maine needed?

  • Maine’s food systems are vulnerable to weaknesses in the national economy.
  • Empty shelves at grocery stores are amplifying the need for food self sufficiency.
  • Food imported from out of state now makes up 90% of what Mainers eat.
  • Storms, flooding, and disease can result in breaks along the food supply chain to Maine.
  • With responses to the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption to transportation and mobility, the need for more of our food to come from our own yards and fields is apparent.
  • It is essential that we increase local food production in order to ensure resilience of our communities.
  • Enumerating right to grow and raise food in Maine’s Declaration of Rights ensures people continue to have the ability to grow and raise their own food and protect against government overreach.
  • Maine people can increase resilience to external shocks in systems beyond our control by growing and producing much more of our food.
  • By securing the right to grow and raise food in our Constitution, it will be protected in the most fundamental form of law.

Adding an enabling right to barter, trade, and purchase foods of our choosing for our own sustenance and health to the existing right to life and liberty would cloak our individual food choices in fundamental law. It would safeguard us against the actions of misguided corporations and government agencies seeking to keep us ill-informed about what we’re eating or against absurd claims, such as the Food and Drug Administration made in 2010, that people have no ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health… because [consumers] do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.” – Hendrik Gideonse, Brooklin, Maine

“What is more fundamental to life than food, and what is more fundamental than the liberty to choose what foods we want to nourish our bodies and our families?” – Joy Metcalf, Northport, Maine

“Food choice is not a new right; it is a right and a practice as old as civilization. It allows us to define our own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” – David Berg, Esquire

Paid for by Right to Food for Maine, 192 Annabessacook Road, Winthrop, ME 04364