BLUE HILL, Maine (WABI) – Healthy Peninsula in Blue Hill has been working to improve the health of Blue Hill and surrounding communities since 2001.
Every summer, the organization helps fight food insecurity in the region with the “Magic Food Bus” program.
“It’s really a pleasure to be able to share some of the best of what the peninsula has to offer with people who live here,” said Healthy Penisula’s Healthy Eating Coordinator Anna Wind.
The name is a play on an old cartoon from the 1990′s, even if it’s not technically accurate.
“The Magic Food Bus is not really a bus,” Wind admitted. “It’s a collective of volunteers who work with us at Healthy Peninsula to get food out into nine towns in the area.”
Healthy Peninsula’s Magic Food Bus is a traveling, pop-up farm stand, offering fresh local produce to people in Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, Deer Isle-Stonington, Surry, Sedgwick, Penobscot and Castine.
“Everything that we offer is free,” Wind said. “People can make a donation if they want to. But everything- all this beautiful produce that’s been collected from growers in the area- is available totally for free for anybody that would like to take it.”
According to Wind, the reason for the Magic Food Bus is simple.
“There’s a lot of wealth here and a lot of different forms but there’s a lot of need as well. Everybody should have access to this quality of nutrition, and also good flavor and beauty. I mean, some of this food that we’re sharing is really beautiful, and that and it can inspire a lot of joy.”
Healthy Peninsula gives away two-to-three hundred pounds of food a week between late June and late September, feeding up to a thousand people in that time. They say it’s hard to tell who has more gratitude for the bus; those that receive the produce…
“The reception is very positive. Sometimes surprising. People are like, ‘Oh, I can just take this?’”
…or those that work to make it available.
“All these folks are showing up and giving their time to feed their community. I feel so much gratitude to get to work with this amazing team, and welcome people to come get involved. We have a lot of food to share. And we want to get it out to you.”
The Magic Food Bus also gives out free books for kids as well.
For more information on getting involved with the Magic Food Bus or to keep up with its schedule, check out the Healthy Peninsula Facebook page.
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