Today

The Maine Nutrition Council continues to promote the mission of its founders – to contribute to the health and well-being of Maine citizens through education, research and advocacy.  Its members include professionals who work in a variety of nutrition related careers, as well as other people who simply are interested in food and health.  Education continues to be a primary focus of the council.  MNC offers three educational events each year for members and sponsors an annual nutrition conference.

A Short History

1940 (December): The Maine Nutrition Committee was organized to coordinate the work of existing state agencies in the field of nutrition, to survey the nutritional situation in the state, to decide on the most urgent needs and to recommend practical methods of meeting those needs. Each state had a similar committee. During the 1940s, the activities included:

  1. Dietary needs assessment of soldiers
  2. School lunch recommendations
  3. Determining inadequacies in Maine diets


1950: At the federal level, the committees were under the umbrella of the Interagency Committee on Nutrition Education, with functions including:

  1. Providing an opportunity for member agencies to gain a better understanding of purposes and programs of member agencies through exchange of information and materials and discussion of common problems
  2. Sharing information on current developments, pertinent research and nutrition education through Nutrition Program News and other media
  3. Sponsoring conferences, workshops and institutes, and otherwise furthering nutrition education


1970 (October): At a meeting of nine members, Katherine Musgrave was appointed chairperson and Flora Gray of the Maine Dairy Council was appointed secretary. 

1971 (April): A questionnaire was sent to the membership to gauge the extent of interest in continuing the committee. As a result, the Maine Nutrition Committee was reorganized, and from 1971 to 1982 the committee met each spring and fall.

1982: State Education Commissioner Stuart Smith, Governor Joseph Brennan and State Nutritionist Abe Parvanta called a meeting of those whose names they recognized from the membership list.  That meeting resulted in several changes to the organization.  The name was changed to the Maine Nutrition Council.  A board of directors was elected, bylaws were written and membership was opened to anyone interested in nutrition education.The Council decided to sponsor an annual conference to promote nutrition education.  

1983: The first Maine Nutrition Council Conference was held at the University of Maine in Orono, with Jane Brody as the keynote speaker.

1986: The board established criteria for the Katherine O. Musgrave Award.  This public service award, named in honor of the first MNC chairperson and a well known and admired Maine educator, is awarded annually to a Maine resident or organization for outstanding service in the nutrition field.  The board also established scholarships for two- and four-year students who attend a Maine university or college to study food and nutrition.

Our Mission

The Maine Nutrition Council promotes the mission of its founders – to contribute to the health and well-being of Maine citizens through education, research and advocacy.