Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine’s Labor Movement Celebrates 20 Years of Food and Medicine

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The labor movement in Maine is celebrating 20 years of Food and Medicine (FAM) with a new video about the union-backed organization. FAM started in 2001 when a series of companies outsourced jobs and left some 3,000 Mainers jobless. “Food and Medicine was founded with the idea that nobody should be forced to choose [between] food, medicine and other basic necessities,” said FAM Director Jack McKay (not pictured). “That was a moral position that we had in the beginning.”

Over the years, FAM has launched a series of programs to improve the lives of working people in Maine, including Solidarity Harvest, which has taken place every Thanksgiving since 2003. FAM purchases large quantities of fresh food from local farmers and gives meal baskets to unions, churches and nonprofit organizations to distribute to laid-off workers and families in need. Solidarity Harvest is sponsored by the eastern, southern and western Maine labor councils.