Impact Justice is excited to join food justice advocates and other allies this evening in Maine at the College of the Atlantic’s Beech Hill Farm. IJ’s Vice President for Innovations Aishatu Yusuf and Elsie Flemings, Executive Director of the local nonprofit Healthy Acadia, are MCs of an event geared to raise awareness about the need for fresh, nourishing, and appealing food in prisons and jails as a fundamental human right and part of preparing people to return home healthy.
The event benefits Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Restorative Harvest project run in partnership with the Washington County Jail and our project Chefs In Prisons, which we’re piloting in the Maine Department of Corrections.
Impact Justice launched Chefs In Prisons with renowned chef Dan Giusti and his company Brigaid, which has a track record of transforming food service in public schools. We’re united in the belief that with the same energy and commitment we can transform food in prison. Dan will be attending the event along with Impact Justice President Alex Busansky and Associate Director of Development Erica Lawson.
The event features a locally-sourced meal provided by Sassafrass Catering and two special guest speakers: nationally recognized food justice advocate Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and Mark McBrine, a former farmer who as food services manager at Maine’s Mountain View Correctional Facility instituted a large-scale garden to increase the amount of readily available fresh food — just one example of the department’s commitment to improving the quality of food in prison.
“Two years ago, our groundbreaking report Eating Behind Bars raised alarms about the poor quality of food in most prisons. Today, we’re working to change that reality, and it’s wonderful to have local organizations like Healthy Acadia and the Maine Department of Corrections, and national advocates like Leah Penniman, as allies,” said Aishatu Yusuf, Vice President for Innovations at Impact Justice.
“We look forward to bringing people together for an evening of inspiration, beauty, and an unforgettable culinary experience, and to learn about these two amazing projects poised to improve access to healthy foods in jail and prison, which is essential to setting residents up for success in life.” said Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia’s Food Programs Director.