Sea Smoke Shop recently made a $1,000 contribution to the Rising Tide Co-op's Local Loving Meals Program as part of its ongoing commitment to fight food insecurity directly in the Lincoln County Maine region.
In cooperation and collaboration with the Rising Tide Co-op, Sea Smoke's funds will be used specifically for the purchase of produce and protein from local farms and Maine purveyors in 2021. This contribution is intended to be the first of multiple contributions with a local and sustainability focus to the prepared meals portion of the program.
“Food insecurity and local hunger are always concerns for us, but the unemployment and financial impacts of the current COVID-19 situation has increased the severity of this issue and put a large amount of strain on our local food pantries,” said Pennington Way, owner of Sea Smoke Shop. “Last year, we focused on contributions for immediate pantry bulk needs and requests as a rapid response. For 2021, we wanted to take a more strategic approach and work with an organization with a deep, multi-layered local focus.”
During the planning process for Sea Smoke's 2021 local giveback contributions, there was an emphasis placed on both providing healthier dietary options for local meal recipients and supporting Maine's economy by purchasing food directly from local farmers and food purveyors. Rising Tide Co-op's Loving Local Meals was very quickly identified as the ideal program because of their long history of purchasing from local farmers and deep commitment to providing nutritious, kitchen prepared meals.
“In 2020 alone, Rising Tide Co-op prepared more than 16,000 individual program meals and more than 35% of the ingredient content was locally produced and purchased,” said Way. “We are proud to be donors to this special program and couldn't have done it without the ongoing support of Sea Smoke's customers. I would also like to say thank you to Heather Burt, Rising Tide Co-op’s general manager, for working with Sea Smoke to make this possible and for the amazing dedication of the Co-op staff, volunteers, local farmers and food purveyors who are the everyday heroes combating regional hunger.
“An important emphasis of Rising Tide’s purpose is to support our community through the development of a strong local food economy. By collaborating with a network of partners to create positive impacts for our neighbors and the broader environment, we are helping lead the way toward more sustainable and just food and environmental choices. I am excited and grateful to have the financial contribution from Pennington Way and Sea Smoke Shop and look forward to the synergy which is certainly created when aligned visions work together,” said Burt.
Sea Smoke Shop is a boutique shop located at 95 Main Street in Downtown Damariscotta that sells American glass made by independent artists, premium supplies and vintage accessories for cannabis users and aficionados. Since opening in 2017, supporting American glass makers and giving back both locally and internationally has been a core part of its operations and overall business mission.
Rising Tide Co-op is a cooperatively-owned natural grocery that has been serving southern Midcoast Maine since 1978 and has a strong commitment to providing our community with the best local, natural and organic foods and products. Everyone is welcome.