On #GivingTuesday, Help CEI Harness Maine’s Food Potential

November 18, 2015 – Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) aims to raise at least $20,000 dollars for Maine’s farmers and food system businesses through a Crowdrise Fundraising Challenge sponsored by Newman’s Own Foundation that will take place between November 24 and December 1.

Donors can contribute at https://www.crowdrise.com/coastalenterprisesin1.

The online fundraiser is open to anyone, anywhere as part of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving designed to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. Newman’s Own Foundation has pledged to match up to $10,000 of donations made to CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program.

CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program helps build the foundations of Maine’s local food systems through flexible loans, technical assistance, and programs like the Healthy Food Finance Program that brings farm fresh food to underserved populations. The funds raised will be used to help CEI create economic opportunity for young farmers and food related businesses in rural Maine. Reversing a generational decline, today there are 2,000 more Maine farms with 100 thousand more acres in production than there were 30 years ago. The number of young farmers – under 35 years old – has increased by 40 percent between 2007 and 2012.

“Global food security starts on the farm and requires a strong and vibrant system that supports farmers, producers, the value chain, consumers and the environment,’’ said Gray Harris, Director of CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. “In the rural state of Maine, that means providing capital and technical assistance to smaller, low-income players in innovative farm-food businesses, helping them to increase production, create a livelihood, and connect to markets.”

This year #GivingTuesday takes place December 1, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The event is designed to inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

The fundraiser to help harness Maine’s food potential is hosted on CrowdRise, a crowd-fundraising platform for nonprofits. A total of 24 organizations were selected to participate by Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.

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