Author (Your Name)

Erin Love, Colby CollegeFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


Travis W. Reynolds

Second Advisor

F. Russell Cole


There is a food systems paradox in Maine: the State has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation, while simultaneously experiencing a local agriculture boom. Maine has some of the largest percentages of young farmers and women farmers in the country and is home to the second highest number of artisan cheese makers of any state in the country. Amidst this exciting, sometimes quirky, agricultural activity there is a critical need for food systems development in the state, especially in the context of serving vulnerable populations. This thesis explores the ways in which Mainers are working to reconnect with their state’s robust agricultural tradition in an effort to benefit both Maine farmers who form the backbone of the local food system and Maine communities and households who have struggled to maintain food secure lifestyles. While there is substantial room to improve the relationships between local food and food security, there are already many promising community-level initiatives at work that provide hope for the future of Maine food systems.


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local food, food security, Maine, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analysis

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