The Morris Farm and Chewonki will co-convene the Fifth annual Lincoln County Food Security Forum from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Chewonki, 485 Chewonki Neck Road, Wiscasset. Dr. Donna Beegle, a public speaker, author and national poverty expert to Maine, to give the forum’s keynote address, according to a news release from the Morris Farm Trust.

Dr. Donna Beegle Contributed photo

Beegle grew up in generational migrant-labor poverty and left school at 15 to get married and start a family. At 25, she found herself with two children, no husband, little education, and few marketable job skills. Within 10 short years, she gained the confidence to get her GED and advance through to a doctoral degree in educational leadership. All these experiences provide Beegle with an authentic voice with which to speak, write, and train across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty, according to the release.

Beegle is the co-founder and president of Communication Across Barriers. The mission of this Oregon-based company, established in 1989 with her mentor Dr. Bob Fulford, is to help communities “fight poverty, not those who live in it.” Her work is dedicated to building poverty-informed communities that are armed with tools to break barriers. Beegle works directly with children and adults currently in poverty, educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, faith-based communities, business leaders, elected officials, and others who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty. For more than 27 years, Beegle’s work has spread by word of mouth to all 50 states and six countries.

Beegle has also written a book, “See Poverty … Be the Difference,” which is used all over the country as a resource that provides a foundation for understanding poverty and its impacts. The book is designed to shatter stereotypes surrounding poverty and to provide concrete tools for creating programs and systems to respond to the needs of people living in poverty.

The forum draws a wide variety of local people who work on food security issues, and Beegle will provide inspiration and information for this year’s attendees. This year’s theme is Exploring Short and Long-term Solutions to Food Insecurity. A variety of sessions will focus on the spectrum of program efforts: meeting immediate needs for food, educating children and adults and changing food habits, empowering those who face food security issues, and addressing systemic barriers to food security.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Lunch and snacks will be served at the event. For more information about the forum, or to register, call the Morris Farm at 882-4080 or visit morrisfarm.org.

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