Sunrise Food Infrastructure Initiative

organicblueberriesThe Sunrise Food Infrastructure Initiative is a broad effort by SCEC to help grow the local food economy of Washington County.  Initially funded by grants from the Broad Reach Fund, the Maine Community Foundation and Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, the initiative uses resources from private foundations, individuals and the government to help farms and other local food businesses thrive, create jobs, and provide healthy, delicious food.

The SFII offers support to qualified clients, businesses and projects primarily in the form of access to capital, guidance, and technical assistance such as advice on processing and product reviews, starting a specialty food business and other  licensing and certification questions.When appropriate, the SFII collaborates with, and seeks the support of other organizations in the region (and throughout the state) to provide financing and technical assistance to a given client or project.

In addition, the SFII is working to understand the main roadblocks and opportunities tied to local food activities in Washington County. Where ever possible it participates in efforts that promise to bring about favorable conditions for the sector– economically, legislatively and otherwise.

Activities include: the Sunrise Agricultural Micro-loan Fund, membership in the Slow Money Maine Network,  and the Sunrise Food Infrastructure Local Markets Viability Project.

Information for New Farmers in Washington County and a compendium of organizations that provide Local Assistance for Farmers and Food Businesses can be found here.