Healthy Lincoln County (HLC) is a community health program of MCD, providing public health programs in Lincoln County, Maine. HLC supports thriving, healthy communities in Lincoln County by working with our partners to improve the health and well-being of residents of all ages. In 2013, HLC became a program of MCD.
Partnering to Address Food Insecurity
In 2020, HLC staff were at the forefront of the pandemic emergency food response through the Lincoln County Food Initiative (LCFI) project. The LCFI project worked with numerous businesses and nonprofits to provide residents in Lincoln County with food and meal deliveries.
Over time as the need for emergency food deliveries waned, HLC staff planned to return to their day jobs; however, the loss of a central coordinator for the charitable food system in our county revealed the overwhelming need for that level of support. Through funding from Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Community-Driven Strategies to End Hunger process, HLC was able to implement a coordinator position designed to connect food pantries and other groups working on food security to resources and to one another.
Jess Breithaupt assumed the role of the food security community connector in October 2021 and quickly implemented systems and processes to bring in more food donations and distributed them equitably to all food security partners in the county as well as enhanced the efforts of the food system in Lincoln County throughout 2022. She also runs HLC’s text/call food security hotline, responds to emergency requests for food assistance, and works on supporting all partners in meeting their needs.
Opening Doors for Prevention and Harm Reduction
Throughout 2022, HLC expanded its harm reduction efforts in Lincoln County. In addition, in 2021, HLC established a partnership with MaineGeneral Health to make Narcan available to anyone in Lincoln County. Working closely with community partners involved in harm reduction work, HLC opted to create an open-door policy where anyone in the area could visit and learn more about Narcan as well as take a free kit that included two Narcan doses and educational materials to store at home.
HLC also actively works with local businesses, school administrators, and community organizations to host virtual Narcan safety group training. In addition, HLC has expanded offerings to include sessions available through the Central Lincoln County and RSU 40 Adult-Education Programs. In November 2022, HLC team members traveled to the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting to present on the exciting harm reduction efforts happening in Lincoln County.