UNITY — Camden National Bank has named Waldo County Bounty co-founder Lissa Widoff a 2022 Leader & Luminary as part of its annual awards celebrating “the importance of effective nonprofit board leaders in our community.” As part of the award, the bank also awarded Waldo County Bounty a $5,000 grant through The Bank of Maine Foundation, the bank’s private charitable foundation.

In its tribute to Lissa Widoff, Camden National Bank said the following:

“Waldo County Bounty works to ensure that everyone has access to fresh, nutritious food by collaborating with local farmers, organizations, and community members towards an equitable food system. Widoff has used her four decades of work in environmental policy, health, and conservation to co-found Waldo County Bounty. She led the organization through the process of becoming a registered nonprofit, and established WCB’s governance structure, while growing their relationship with their fiscal sponsors. Widoff led the WCB team through establishing bylaws and policies, and guiding board members into leadership roles based on their individual strengths. At various stages, Widoff has been vital to founding, envisioning, incorporating, and sustaining Waldo County Bounty.”

Waldo County Bounty programming includes Farm-to-Pantry, which operates in partnership with Daybreak Growers Alliance to buy food directly from farmers and distribute it to food access and hunger relief organizations, and the Gardening program, which supplies a wide variety of resources, such as vegetable seedlings and gardening education, to help more people grow their own food.

The Gleaning Program redirects unused and surplus farm-grown food to hunger relief programs through the long-standing Veggies For All, an initiative of Unity Barn Raisers. In 2022, WCB distributed more than 35,000 pounds of fresh foods and established 15 Give & Take Tables, where neighbors can exchange produce in a zero-contact, zero-stigma setting.

“We’re so grateful to Camden National Bank for recognizing Waldo County Bounty,” Widoff said in a press release from the nonprofit. “Their gift will make a big impact due to our collaborative, efficient, and community-based approach to all we do.”