Healthy Foods for the Community

Food Security Community Connection


Increase Access to Healthy Foods; Coordinate with Food Pantries & Partners; Create & Share Resources; Build & Enhance Partnerships; Procure & Distribute Food; Address Barriers to Services


Jess Breithaupt leads the efforts in food security at Healthy Lincoln County as the Food Security Community Connector. She works with partners across Lincoln County, which include food pantries, social service providers, area agencies on aging, youth-focused organizations, local producers & grow-to-give farms, and groups working in food recovery. By understanding the goals and reach of the food security projects and initiatives in Lincoln County, she is able to forge new and inspiring collaborative connections, helping to better coordinate the local food system.


Some of Jess's work focuses on increasing food access by bringing in food donations to the county, and distributing those donations equitably to food pantries and other organizations that help feed people. This is accomplished through partnership with the Twin Villages Foodbank Farm (TVFF), and their storage and distribution center dubbed “The Hub”. TVFF is a grow-to-give farm that works with all of the area food pantries. The pantries travel to the Hub to pick up their produce weekly during the growing season, and Jess adds additional donations to this already established food distribution system. Jess also sources food and other donations, such as bringing in frozen meat weekly for food pantries from our partner MCHPP in Brunswick, allowing the distribution process to operate year-round. The graphic to the right explains the process and partners involved in food distribution currently.


An additional area of focus is centered on referrals and resources. A food security hotline is managed at Healthy Lincoln County, where callers are connected to local food resources across the county. Referrals are also received from a variety of sources, such as the Central Lincoln County YMCA, Sweetser Services, police departments, or by word of mouth. Each referral is handled with care and consideration, and the support that has been provided ranges from assistance filling out a food benefit application, to a discussion on how the local food pantry operates. Emergency food boxes and other immediate resources are also delivered to callers, based on their needs.


Creating and sharing resources is a large aspect of this work, and over the past 6 months an information dissemination plan has been implemented to ensure that food resources are highly publicized and consistent across all partners. Jess creates monthly resources that are emailed to food security partners, consisting of monthly food pantry calendars, social media posts, and one-page reference guides for the variety of programs available to people in this county. A weekly newspaper column in the Lincoln County News managed by HLC staff, and a quarterly newsletter also helps spread information far and wide.


There are many ways to get involved in this important work. Interested partners should reach out to Jess at jbreithaupt@healthylincolncounty.org.