Pingree Secures $1 Million for Preble Street Food Security Hub
The Food Security Hub will act as an industrial kitchen, food processing center, educational site, office space, and conference center dedicated to collective advocacy work and efforts to address hunger
Washington, December 23, 2022
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $1 million in Community Project Funding to address hunger in Southern Maine. Secured as one of 15 projects submitted by Pingree in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill, Preble Street will use the federal funding to support its Food Security Hub in South Portland, helping those facing hunger and homelessness. This Food Security Hub will act as an industrial kitchen, food processing center, educational site, office space, and conference center dedicated to collective advocacy work and efforts to address hunger.
“Hunger is an all-too-common reality for far too many people in our country. As rates of food insecurity, particularly in Maine, continue to grow due to the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, organizations like Preble Street have never been more vital to our communities,” said Pingree. “Preble Street is a model for the rest of the country, demonstrating ways we can tackle both food insecurity and food waste by thinking outside of the box. I was proud to secure $1 million to support the expansion of Preble Street’s Food Security Hub. This funding will help feed more food insecure Mainers and ultimately support our collective goal to end hunger in Maine.”
“Preble Street thanks Congresswoman Pingree for securing this critical funding for our innovative new Food Security Hub. The Food Security Hub will be the first food hub in Maine focused on food security and will provide a dynamic and collaborative space focused on extending the life of food, reducing food waste, creating more access to culturally appropriate food, and providing more sustainable, local, and nutritious food to more people who need it," said Mark Swann, Executive Director of Preble Street. “When the renovation of the 30,000 square foot facility housing the Food Security Hub is complete, we'll have the capacity to produce up to 10,000 hot and nutritious meals each day, up from our current capacity of 2,000 meals. We are grateful for Congresswoman Pingree’s support for ending food insecurity in Maine and hope that more organizations and people will join us on this journey.”
Preble Street’s Food Security Hub is one of 15 First District community projects submitted for funding by Pingree totaling $34.5 million in the annual Appropriations bill.
The number of undernourished people in the world has been on the rise since 2015 and has reached the levels seen in 2010. Prolonged conflict, extreme weather events, and economic slowdowns and downturns are key driving factors reversing the progress made for over a decade. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the path toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to achieve zero hunger by 2030 even steeper.
Pingree, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee and launched the first-ever Bipartisan Food Recovery Caucus in 2018, has introduced and cosponsored several bills to combat food waste and food insecurity, including the Food Date Labeling Act, FIND Food Act, School Food Recovery Act, Zero Waste Act, COMPOST Act, Agriculture Resilience Act, National Food Waste Reduction Act, and Food Donation Improvement Act. Many of these initiatives were included in the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s first-ever comprehensive report on climate change.