Helping Local Farmers and Neighbors

That's exactly what was on the agenda this past weekend from Animal Rights Maine when the organization set up for the first time at the Deering Oaks Farmers' Market, taking donations to benefit Preble Street. We've been keeping tabs on this group through their ever expanding Facebook page. This event was constructed to utilize food that may have otherwise gone to waste, promote consciousness of animal rights, and help the many who rely on the services of food banks and shelters. We here at So.ME.Vegans greatly appreciate the emphasis that organizer Melissa Gates put on the message that animal rights and humanitarian causes are not mutually exclusive, but one in the same issue. In a recent interview Gates states

"... animal rights is about more than advocating for animals; it is about a way of life that encompasses compassion for all. I want to negate the idea that AR activists are a bunch of people-hating wackos, as that is simply, by and
large, not true."

It's an idea that's long past due and ARM is presenting a positive and inclusive message that the greater community is picking up on. The story got local coverage from WCSH6, The West End News, and The Portland Press Herald. People came out in droves contributing approximately 600 pounds of produce for the cause. The collected food will go to Preble Street Resource Center, where over 6,000 meals are served to the hungry each week, free of charge. We see this as a glorious and beautiful effort and hopefully people learned a little something about animal rights, and those who fight for the rights of non-humans, in the process.

Volunteers are still needed for upcoming food drives. If you're thinking about assisting in future efforts here's what you need to know. Volunteers are needed to:

  • Walk through the park, alerting shoppers to the opportunity to donate fresh veggies to the food drive by purchasing from the farm stands and leaving donations in the bins ARM has provided.
  • Collect donation bins from farmers as needed and at the end of the market, loading the food into a truck (or cars).
  • Bring all donations and produce bins to Preble Street at the end of the market.

Folks with a truck or a van are especially needed to help store food and transport it to local pantries at the end of the market! To sign up please contact We hope you do!


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