Our Vision

Our vision is a vibrant, welcoming and compassionate community, where all members have access to healthy food and authentic connection with their fellow neighbors.

Our Mission

The mission of Open Table MDI is to inspire strong, loving, and inclusive communities by bringing people together to share in nourishing food. Our organization helps to alleviate hunger by feeding individuals and families on Mount Desert Island and beyond.
We are a food security organization that believes all people should have access to the food they want and need. Yet we know that Maine ranks 3rd in the nation, and 1st in New England, for very low food security and that approximately 1 in 8 households in Hancock County lack access to enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle (a rate higher than the national average). Solutions to hunger are complex. Poverty, unemployment, low wages, our current pandemic, and escalating housing costs all contribute to the challenges that the most vulnerable residents of our island communities face.
Open Table MDI’s work of cooking food and sharing it aims to bring people together who might not normally come together – to break down traditional barriers of separation. We believe that access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege. At our programs, hungry people are offered food, voices are heard, joy is cultivated, and isolation is decreased.
We achieve our mission by:
  • Offering a free weekly vegetarian community meal that is both healthy and delicious. We focus on utilizing organic and local sources when possible. In addition to pick-up, we deliver food to island residents who are unable to travel to our location, due to health, transportation issues, or other economic factors.
  • Coordinating a free island-wide mobile food distribution system – called the MDI Food Access Project. This project increases the diversity of healthy food options available, decreases the duplication of island services, reduces food access barriers, and addresses unmet food insecurity in MDI’s more remote communities. 
  • Serving people with compassion and respect – regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity and expression, country of origin, faith background, marital status and family structure, mental and physical ability, immigration status, or sexual orientation
  • Engaging a team of committed and passionate volunteers
  • Striving to build a community of support for our guests who may face challenges beyond food insecurity by establishing relationships and partnering with other community agencies

Our Values

  • We believe no one should go hungry.
  • We believe access to food is a basic human right.
  • We believe nutritious food is a building block for healthy communities.
  • We believe food can be a powerful tool to foster health, belonging, and justice in our community.
  • We believe in the spirit of human kindness.
  • We believe all people deserve compassion and respect.
  • We believe that by working together we accomplish more.
  • We believe that by sharing a meal, we build community and share hope.

Open Table MDI Acknowledges Indigenous Land

Open Table MDI acknowledges that we are on the island of Pesamkuk and the ancestral land of the Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn. We respectfully acknowledge and hold gratitude to the many Indigenous people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations – to their elders both past and present. We recognize the rich history of this land, reaching beyond colonization and the establishment of European colonies. We recognize its significance to the Indigenous peoples whose practices and spiritualities were tied to and nourished by the land and who continue to develop in relationship to the land and its other inhabitants today. We acknowledge the vibrant communities of the Abenaki, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations and all of the Native communities who have lived here for thousands of generations in what is known today as Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States – specifically New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, eastern Quebec, Maine, and Vermont. We make this acknowledgment aware of continual violations of water, territorial rights, and sacred sites in the Wabanaki homeland.