PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A project to grow the Maine seafood industry and an effort to expand the market for organic dairy products are among the recipients of grants to bolster food systems in the state.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $3.5 million to five Maine organizations to create new markets for the state’s agricultural and food products. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland and Maine Organic Milk Company in Whitefield are two of the recipients.

Others receiving grants include Harvesting Good in Yarmouth, Fork Food Lab in Portland and Community Shellfish Company in Bremen, said Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Pingree said the grants are important in a time when farmers “cope with continued uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and consumers increasingly seek out locally produced foods.”

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