Fwd: Action Alert: Submit Testimony for Local Food Incentive Bill

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Holly Hannaway

Nov 7, 2023, 3:01:09 PM11/7/23
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Hello Farm to School Advocates, 

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the start to your November. 

As some of you may know, as part of our policy work Mass. Farm to School has been working to establish a permanent state-funded local food incentive program.  Over the summer a bill was introduced in the MA legislature to create a 3yr pilot program. With very short notice, we are excited to report the bill is having a hearing on Monday, November 13th and we are seeking testimony from farm to school advocates.  Testimony from farm to school partners will be very impactful both in-person or submitted in writing!

Would you be willing to submit written testimony or testify during the hearing (in-person or virtually?)

Please see below for more information about the bill, a link to sample testimony, and instructions about how to submit your testimony. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions and thank you for your help getting more Massachusetts food to Massachusetts kids!

Thank you,

This bill has a hearing scheduled for November 13th!
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Do you want to see more local food in school meals across Massachusetts? Now is the time to act!

A legislative hearing will take place on November 13th for a bill to establish a local food incentive program for Massachusetts K-12 schools and early education programs. The bill, H.3993, “An Act supporting farm and school partnerships in school meals,” has been introduced by Representatives Domb and Vargas. If passed, the bill would establish a 3-year pilot program within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide eligible schools and early education programs additional funds for meals featuring locally grown and caught foods. 

The program would build on the success of a current federally funded incentive, Northeast Food for Schools, which is set to expire at the end of this school year. We’ve already seen how successful a local food incentive can be at driving investments in local farms and food businesses and expanding access to these healthy foods for all students. Let’s not let the program end when the federal funds run out! A state incentive will enable the incredible local purchasing gains to continue. Read more about the bill here.

Legislators need to hear from school nutrition staff, farmers and food businesses, students, families and other farm to school advocates about how impactful a local food incentive program can be on both the health of our students and our local food system.
YOU can help make this legislative hearing a success by sharing your story of local foods in schools through written testimony! We have provided sample testimony to help you write your comments, but be sure to include your own story. Written testimony makes a BIG difference. Your story will help to move the Local Food Incentives bill (An Act supporting farm and school partnerships in school meals) forward in the legislative process. Download sample testimony.

You can also provide oral testimony during the hearing either in person or virtually. See more info about the hearing location and schedule here. To testify virtually, you must sign up by this Thursday at 3pm. Complete this form to register for virtual testimony.   
Written Testimony Instructions
1) Email your testimony to everyone listed below:  

Education Committee Staff  Chairs **Please “cc” in...@massfarmtoschool.org to let us know you’ve sent in your testimony!**  

2) Use the subject heading: "Education Committee Testimony in Support of H.3993, An Act Supporting Farm and School Partnerships in School Meals" 

3) Include in email: Your name, organization (if applicable), and phone number in your email.   

Thank you for your help growing farm to school programs across the Commonwealth. Please feel free to reach out with any questions. 

Simca Horwitz & Lisa Damon
Co-Directors, Mass. Farm to School

Copyright © 2023 Massachusetts Farm to School (fiscally sponsored by Third Sector New England, Inc. (TSNE)), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 213, Beverly, MA 01915

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Holly Hannaway (She/Her)
Outreach Coordinator
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