Healthy Acadia and Impact Justice will hold a dinner and conversation about food justice in Maine’s prisons and jails on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at College of the Atlantic’s Beech Hill Farm. The evening will feature a locally-sourced meal provided by Sassafrass Catering, live local music, and special guest speakers nationally recognized food justice advocate Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and Maine’s Commissioner of Corrections Randall Liberty. The event will benefit two new projects geared to dramatically improve the quality of food available to incarcerated residents of Maine. 

In partnership with the Washington County Jail, Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Restorative Harvest project will establish a garden that benefits jail residents and the broader community by increasing access to healthy food and providing meaningful, educational, and healthful work. 

Impact Justice, which sparked a national conversation about the poor quality of food in prison through its 2020 report Eating Behind Bars, is teaming up with renowned chef Dan Giusti and his company Brigaid, which has a track record of transforming institutional food service, to launch Chefs in Prisons. This first-of-its-kind pilot project aims to improve food service operations and serve healthier meals in all of Maine’s prisons and also provide culinary training to incarcerated people. 

The farm dinner will showcase the common thread of these two projects: expanding access to  fresh, healthy, appealing food to all Mainers. Healthy Acadia is pleased to be partnering with Impact Justice and College of the Atlantic to host this wonderful opportunity for the community to dine, learn, and support these projects as they grow and come to fruition. 

“We look forward to bringing people together for an evening of inspiration, beauty, and an unforgettable culinary experience, and to learn about these two amazing projects poised to improve access to healthy foods in jail and prison, which is essential to setting jail and prison residents up for success in life,” said  Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia’s food programs director.

A limited number of tickets are available for sale starting Thursday, Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. Interested community members are invited to email to learn more and to purchase a ticket. Tickets are priced at $275 per person. If cost is a barrier, please contact us. Every dollar of the total ticket price will be divided equally to benefit Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Restorative Harvest project and Impact Justice’s Chefs In Prisons project.

To learn more about Downeast Restorative Harvest, contact Katie Freedman at or by calling 207-667-7171. To learn more about Chefs in Prisons, contact Erica Lawson at To make a gift directly in support of these projects, please visit or Your gift will be doubled, as both organizations are the recipients of generous matching gift pledges. The organizations are tremendously grateful for all community support.

Organizers will have volunteers checking proof of COVID-19 vaccination as people arrive and are given table assignments, and encourage attendees to do an antigen test day of, and not to come if they are symptomatic. The event will be outside, and the tent will have open sides.

Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at