HARTFORD — Residents will be able to learn about a proposed food sovereignty ordinance at a potluck supper this Friday, April 19, at the Hartford Town Hall.
The event is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall on Main Street and will feature guest speaker Heather Retberg of Food for Maine’s Future, which “is a group that has been advocating food sovereignty for years,” according to Hartford Selectboard Chair Lee Holman.
Holman noted the model ordinance is called Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance and has been adopted by 53 or 54 communities thus far in the state.
“There is a law passed … that covers this that points out that under home rule that these ordinances are allowed and the towns have been piling up like crazy [to adopt the ordinance],” Holman said.
Buckfield Selectman Dona Grant will also speak at Friday’s supper. She spearheaded the food sovereignty ordinance during her campaign for the selectboard, which was modified to fit Buckfield and passed at June 2018 town meeting, Grant said.
The potluck supper is the initial discussion in Hartford about food sovereignty.
“Heather [Retberg], who has worked with food sovereignty towns all over the state, said that a petition is the best way to go because it gets you out there talking to people and drums up support,” Holman said.
This is how Grant got the ordinance on the Buckfield warrant.
“Once people have signed, it’s that much easier to actually get them to come to town meeting,” Holman added.
A Facebook event has been created for the potluck supper and can be viewed at www.facebook.com/events/1622396924556858/.
The description of the event reads, “This is a potluck supper for those interested in learning what food sovereignty is all about. We will have guest speakers who have spearheaded Food Sovereignty in Maine. We will have speakers from our surrounding towns who have passed this in their towns. Come and join us. It should be your choice where your food comes from.”

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