Lewiston Youth Advisory Council members, from left, are Damon DeWitt, Cadence Nadeau and Elissa Nadeau. The July 2020 to July 2021 LYAC members not pictured include Hope Rubito, Katie Morin, Ariana Vallee, Julia Paquette, Olivia Deschenes, Keira Potvin, Brea Mathieu, Idey Abdi, Elena Clothier, Emily Fournier and Ryleigh Emmert. The council was named the 2021 Food Security Food Charter Champion Award winner. Contributed photo

The Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn honored the 2021 Food Charter Champion Award winners during an award presentation Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Lewiston Middle School football field.

The Food Charter Champion Awards are hosted annually by the council to celebrate the unique contributions of five individuals or groups from the greater Lewiston-Auburn area who lead by example, within one or more of the five principles of the LA Community Food Charter, to create a more vibrant and healthy local food system from farm-to-fork.

New in 2021, the awards, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, exclusively honor and celebrate five individual youth and youth groups, with members aged 11-25, in Androscoggin County. Winners were selected from among nominations made by the public on the council’s website this spring.

The following are the 2021 Food Charter Champion Award winners:

Koos Mohamed of Lewiston, the 2021 Leadership Food Charter Champion Award winner. Contributed photo

• Koos Mohamed — Leadership;

Fardowsa Muktar of Lewiston, the 2021 Local & Sustainable Agriculture Food Charter Champion Award winner. Contributed photo

• Fardowsa Muktar — Local & Sustainable Agriculture;

Gabrielle Brewer of Lewiston, the 2021 Community Infrastructure Food Charter Champion Award winner. Contributed photo

• Gabrielle Brewer — Community Infrastructure;

Maryam Omar of Lewiston, the 2021 Food Policy Food Charter Champion Award winner. Contributed photo

• Maryam Omar — Good Food Policy; and

• Lewiston Youth Advisory Council — Food Security.

Profiles of the youth winners for their actions that support a healthy local food system can be found at goodfood4la.org.

In addition to a physical award, each winner received a $100 Buoy Local Card from Bangor Savings Bank, and a $50 Gift Card to DaVinci’s Eatery.

The presentation took place under the stars during the Lewiston Summer Fun & Films movie and family activity night, organized by the Lewiston Police Department.

The LA Community Food Charter was launched in 2016 as a way to highlight the community’s food values, build greater awareness and support for a more vibrant local food system, and provide a framework for discussion by community members and policy-makers. The charter was the first of its kind in Maine, and since its creation two additional Maine communities have created their own: Western Foothills Community Food Charter and Knox County Food Charter.

The cities of Auburn and Lewiston have endorsed the charter, as have over 290 individuals, businesses, and organizations. Anyone interested is encouraged to sign the charter on the council’s website to demonstrate their own support for, and commitment to, a healthy and sustainable local food system from farm-to-fork.

The Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn was formed in the summer of 2012 to create and support improvements to the food system, from farm-to-fork, within the greater Lewiston-Auburn area. GFCLA creates change by fostering collaboration between sectors in the food system, identifying and working to solve gaps in the food system, providing non-partisan research and educational resources in matters of public policy, raising awareness and support for local programs and businesses, and responding to emerging community needs and opportunities.

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