Who we are
Sitting in the midst of Lewiston Maine’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods, the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center (NC) serves families, youth, adults, elders, and refugees who range from age 3 to over 70 and come from many diverse backgrounds. The NC promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education. The long term goal of the NC is to build a viable food system, while supporting local leaders, strengthening community ties, and engaging youth as agents of change.
Recognizing that a complex web of social, economic, community and environmental factors determines a person’s health, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center founded the Nutrition Center in 2006. Lewiston is the second largest metro area in Maine with over half the state’s population located within about 30 miles.
What we do
The NC is home to St. Mary's Lots to Gardens, an urban garden program, a St. Mary's food pantry and cooking and nutrition education programs. Programs include cooking-centered nutrition education for all ages; community gardens for families of low-income; garden education programs for children; FoodCorps programs in schools; leadership and job training programs for teens; and the year round Lewiston Farmers’ Market.
The NC has been integral to the implementation of a multi-partner community food assessment and planning process - the first assessment of this nature and scope to be conducted in the state of Maine, that has led to the creation of the regional food council, Good Food for Lewiston-Auburn (GFCLA). GFCLA reflects a growing national trend of using community food assessments as the basis for designing big-picture, long-term community food and nutrition solutions that combine programmatic and policy approaches.