We need your help in Olympia! Support efforts to strengthen our local food system
Read more about our 2014 legislative efforts to strengthen our local food system.
Help us strengthen support for small farms and local food systems.
We are tracking many issues this session, ranging from amendments that
will provide tax relief to small farms, establishing a small farm
internship program and a grants program to help low income schools
purchase kitchen equipment for scratch cooking of Wa grown food.
ALERT: The Small
Farm Internship Bill(SB
5123) is scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday Feb 26th at 3:30 before
Labor & Workforce Development Committee. We need your help. Internships are
effective ways for beginning farmers to learn skills and established farmers to
get help! Can you please call 1-800-562-600 and leave your Representative a message asking them
to support SB 5123? Click here to find your Representative.
1-800-562-6000 BEFORE WED and leave a
ASKING YOUR LEGISLATOR TO SUPPORT SB 5123
Background: Senator Ranker introduced SB 5123. It would require the Director of Labor & Industries to establish a farm internship pilot program for the employment of farm interns on small farms in certain counties. It requires $450,000 appropriations from the general fund and would expire December 31, 2017. It expands the 2010 small farm internship program in Skagit and San Juan Counties to 16 Counties: Chelan, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lincoln, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima.
Thank you Good Food & Farming Lobbyists!
Advocates secured Legislator's support for FMNP! We need help getting more legislators to add their names to the House and Senate FMNP Budget Request Sign on Letters. Check the letters. We have 31 Reps and 10 Senators signing on so far! If your legislator has not yet signed please ask them to sign on! If they have signed, please thank them.
Wearing green scarves and carrying squash, on Feb 11th 40 advocates came to Olympia to help advocate for a $500,000 investment in the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs...because it's good for our kids, our farmers and our local economy.
We asked legislators to support the budget request and left behind a squash...with a tag saying Squash Hunger - Invest in FMNP. Thank you Cloudview Farms for the donation of your lovely delicata squash!
We need endorsements from farms, organizations, and businesses that support FMNPs! If you want your farm, business or organization to be added to this list please click here to endorse.
Background: The WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs are small public investments with huge benefits. These programs enable low income seniors and moms with small kids to receive up to $40/summer to purchase healthy, fresh Washington grown produce at farmers markets and roadside stands. State Funds have been cut over the past years. The programs are only able to serve 37,000 low income seniors, new moms and kids, even though there are over 170,000 eligible.
Investing $500,000 would:
Allow 18,000 more seniors, new moms and kids a chance to buy fresh Washington grown fruits and vegetables directly from our local farmers!
Support over 560 Washington farmers who want their produce to be available to all Washington residents!
Help strengthen over 180 farmers markets & farm stores in 35 counties!
photo by Zach Lyons
FMNPs support our farmers and our agriculture economy:
- FMNPs improve the economic viability of our farms, which creates new ag sector jobs.
- FMNP funds are not a hand out, but are dollars infused into our local economy to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers. These dollars help grow small businesses in Washington.
- Brings $900,000 of federal dollars into our state which helps keep farmers farming.
- Over 560 farmers across the state earn an extra $1.1 million form FMNPs.
- keeps our dollars home- Every $100 spent at farmers market, $62 is reinvested locally, $99 stays in state. (Sustainable Seattle, Local Food Economy Study, 2006)
FMNPs are effective food assistance programs that promote health:
- Low-income seniors, new moms and young kids are able to supplement their families’ food budget and eat healthy, fresh WA grown produce. Only 20% of the income eligible citizens are able to benefit.
- DOH provides administrative support for WIC FMNP and also, through shared efficiencies with DSHS, for Senior FMNP, ensuring that more funds will go directly to program participants and farmers.
Investing $500,000 in FMNP would:
- allow 18,000 more seniors, moms and young children a chance to purchase fresh Washington grown fruits and vegetables.
- Support 560 farmers who want their produce to be available to all residents.
- Help strengthen over 120 farmers markets and 60 farm stands in 35 counties.
Please add your farm or organization to the growing list of supporters and endorse online. Thanks!