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Coastal Maine Groups Net Funding

Friday, April 19th 2024

Coastal Maine Groups Net Funding

Two coastal non-profits will be receiving significant federal funds that will help them maintain and expand services that benefit island residents as well as schools and foodbanks throughout the state.

The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, working with the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, has announced it will be receiving $750,000 in federal dollars to support Fishermen Feeding Mainers. Funds come from an appropriations request submitted by U.S. senators Susan Collins and Angus King.

And Maine Seacoast Mission, along with MCD Global Health, has received a $90,000 grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration to create a healthcare bridge and bring expanded in-person and telemedicine services to several island communities.

Through the grant, the mission will work with Mount Desert Island Hospital, Maine Health, Northern Light Health, and several other groups.

The mission, using its boat Sunbeam, brings healthcare services to multiple downeast island communities. During the pandemic it saw a increased reliance on telemedicine care so residents could access services virtually. Healthcare services include medical specialists such as dermatologists, cardiologists, behavioral health, and substance abuse providers.

“This is an opportunity for the Mission to identify more pathways for island residents to access healthcare services and decrease expenses,” says Sunbeam nurse Simone Babineaux.

To develop this healthcare bridge, the mission is working with MCD Global Health, a Maine-based non-profit with expertise in planning and implementing digital healthcare in rural and underserved areas.

The Fishermen Feeding Mainers program began in October 2020 in response to the collapse of local seafood markets and rising food insecurity in Maine, according to the MCFA announcement.

Initially funded by an anonymous foundation, the program purchases fish directly from Maine fishermen, it gets processed locally, and MCFA partners with Good Shepherd Food Bank to distribute donated fish to food pantries, meal sites, schools and additional hunger-relief organizations located throughout the state. To date, more than 1 million meals have been served.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from Senator King and Senator Collins who have continued to be amazing champions of the working waterfront, Maine fishermen, and this program. Feeding Maine communities local seafood, and especially getting local seafood into schools is a huge win for our state. We are thrilled to be able to continue this good work,” said Executive Director Ben Martens.

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