February 11, 2013

Winslow council hears farmland pitch on Monday

By Ben McCanna bmccanna@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WINSLOW -- An opportunity to create more farmland and food will be the focus of tonight's Town Council meeting.

The Maine Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization that strives to preserve agricultural land throughout the state, has offered to assist the town in evaluating its agricultural resources and devising strategies for improvement.

The trust will perform the assistance at no cost. Town councilors simply need to authorize their work, according to Town Manager Mike Heavener.

If approved, the trust will meet with Winslow farmers and town officials to discuss issues, opportunities and land-use ordinances. The trust will inventory the town's farmlands and natural resources and develop strategies to support those areas, Heavener said.

More farmland might someday lessen food insecurity in the area, a term that includes people who "sometimes don't know where their next meal is coming from," Heavener said.

During the past six months, Heavener has learned that area food pantries are serving a surprising number of people.

The Universalist Unitarian Church of Waterville provides food to about 200 people every day, he said.

Ben McCanna -- 861-9239

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