Fundraiser Pasta Dinner for the Lots to Gardens Youth Crew
at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center of Maine
Join St. Mary’s Lots to Gardens program for an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet featuring whole-wheat pasta with local veggies, massaged kale salad, garlic bread, green bean fries, lemon ice tea, and apple crisp.
Proceeds from the dinner will help send some of the Lots to Gardens’ Summer Youth Gardeners and Youth Interns to the Rooted in Community Conference this summer so that they can meet and network with youth and adults involved in food justice work from around the country.
The dinner will be held at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center at 208 Bates Street in Lewiston on Saturday, April 24, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Admission will be sliding scale with a minimum donation of $3 per person, and a suggested donation of $10 per person or $25 for families.
Lots to Gardens’ Youth Interns will also be drawing the winner for a joint raffle with Spoke Folks, a community bike shop. The raffle is for a Vintage Bianchi Road Bike “Campione d’Italia”. Raffle tickets are $20 each. Only 50 tickets will be sold. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased in advance of the dinner by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots to Gardens, a program of St. Mary’s Health System, uses sustainable urban gardens to create access to fresh food, empower youth, and build community in Lewiston, Maine. Through this work we raise community awareness about local food systems and work with youth to create solutions to address food insecurity.
Our community food projects include apartment-side and community gardens with 80 families and senior citizens; neighborhood veggie stands that provide affordable organic produce; weekly community meals and garden events; year-round cooking and nutrition classes; activities at the Lewiston Farmers Market; and a youth empowerment program. Each year, we grow and distribute thousands of pounds of organic food throughout the city.
Our youth programming is focused on providing local youth from diverse backgrounds with valuable skills and opportunities to become leaders in our community. Our summer youth crew participates and plays an integral role in all of our projects: caring for our gardens, helping organize and run community events, volunteering at the Food Pantry, and supporting our community gardeners. In addition, all of our youth gardeners also receive valuable nutrition education, job training, and a chance to participate in workshops aimed at providing them with the tools they need to become agents of change.
After participating in our summer crew, youth have the option of applying to be youth interns. The internship provides youth who are passionate about our work and mission with the opportunity to become leaders within our programs. Our youth interns help lead the summer youth crew as well as taking on additional responsibilities within the organization.
The Rooted in Community National Network (RIC) is a national grassroots network that empowers young people to take leadership in their own communities. We are a diverse movement of youth and adults working together and committed to fostering healthy communities and food justice through urban and rural agriculture, community gardening, food security, and related environmental justice work. Every year members of the RIC network organize a national summer conference that seeks to bring youth and adults who are involved in the food justice movement together from all across the country. The conference gives us all an opportunity to learn from each other, build stronger connections, and celebrate the local agriculture of the region hosting the conference.