The Good Food Bus is a mobile food market, creating easier access to good food. We are a market on wheels with stops across Maine in Lewiston, Auburn, Bath, and Lisbon. Our goal is to bring you food that is local, convenient, and affordable.
We strive to make the better choice the easier one. We believe that good food is the cornerstone of a vibrant and healthy community. We value and prioritize locally sourced food. The Good Food Bus project was founded by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, the Healthy Food Fund of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation, and Cultivating Community. The project is now coordinated solely by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.
Unique in its approach and part of a growing movement of mobile market initiatives across the country, the Good Food Bus seeks to address issues of food insecurity and access to good food by innovating upon the concept of a traditional brick and mortar store and stationary markets.
The Good Food Bus employs innovative food access strategies while working to meet the needs of the diverse communities in which it operates. The project embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of a small start-up but within a non-profit context and works to support and engage Maine’s dynamic and growing local food system.
What is good food?
Good Food is food that is good for the customer, good for the farmer, and good for the environment. Good Food provides people with the nourishment they need to lead healthy, active lives. It is grown in ways that treat producers and employees with respect and it provides them with a livable wage. It honors people’s cultural heritages and religious beliefs. It supports local businesses and also nourishes the Earth. It comes from animals that are treated humanely. Our definition of good food is inspired by Lewiston-Auburn Community Food Charter and the work of the Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn (GFCLA) and community members.
A Community Food Assessment conducted by the GFCLA found that healthy food remains out of reach for many people in Lewiston-Auburn due to lack of access, convenience, and affordability. By bringing good food at reasonable prices directly to the communities that need it most, the Good Food Bus makes it easier for families to bring healthy food into their homes, eat well, and live better!
The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center (NC) promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education. Located in the heart of downtown Lewiston, ME the NC serves as a healthy food hub in the midst of the city’s most diverse, economically challenged neighborhoods. The NC is home to a food pantry, cooking and nutrition education programs, and urban gardens that create access to local food, empower youth, and build community.
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve by providing the tools, training and leadership to build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The Good Food Bus is supported by the Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund Grant. Since 2016, as a result of Healthy Food Fund contributions to 25 organizations across New England [including St. Mary's Nutrition Center and Cultivating Community on behalf of the Good Food Bus], the amount of healthy, local produce distributed free to low-income families has increased 116 percent to nearly 1.8 million lbs of fresh produce.
Based in Portland, ME, Cultivating Community is a non-profit organization committed to creating and growing sustainable communities in the greater Portland and Lewiston areas. The organization aims to do this through increasing access to healthy, local food, by empowering youth and adults to contribute to a restored, sustainable food system, and by modeling, teaching, and advocating for ecological food production. Cultivating Community manages programs in food access, youth education, community gardening, and refugee farmer training (Fresh Start Farms).