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Major Policy Accomplishments Farm to Table
New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council
- NM Food and Agriculture Policy Council (NMFPC) created
- NM Farm to School program created by legislative memorial
- NM became a trailblazer among states as the NMFPC took action in support of children’s health through minimizing junk food in schools.
- With the strong backing of Sen. Feldman, $85,000 in recurring state funds are secured for the purchase of NM-grown fresh fruits and vegetables for school meals. This funding benefited 12 schools serving 6,000 students in the valley cluster of the Albuquerque Public Schools district.
- The state provided for $150,000 in recurring state funding to promote the development of farmers’ markets.
- The NM Legislature passed a memorial requesting the formation of the NM Food Gap Task Force. The Task Force developed recommendations focusing on food access and food retail in rural and underserved urban communities.
- NMFPC led the way to obtaining increased federal funding for Southwest states for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. $300,000 of annual federal funding was then supplemented by the states, up to $200,000.
- $162,000 in recurring state funds were secured to supplement federal funding for the Women, Infants and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP).
- The governor-appointed NM Food Gap Task Force presents its findings to the governor to improve healthy food access and promote food-based economic development.
- Farm to Table became a Regional Lead Agency, working with four southwest states, for the National Farm to School Network.
- Farm to Table and national partners advocate for changes to the Federal Farm Bill:
- The Healthy Urban (and rural) Food Development program was created.
- USDA allowed schools to prioritize buying local produce using a geographic preference.
- Funding for the Fresh Fruit/Vegetable Snack Program increased, bringing $5.5 million over five years to NM schools.
- The $40 million competitive Farm to School Grant Program was created.
– Farm to Table helped create the Santa Fe City and County Food Policy Council and Grant County Food Policy Council.
– NMFPC advocated for an amendment to NM Local Economic Development Act to include retail rural food.
– NMFPC developed and advocated “Local Food Procurement” state legislation, which was passed by the NM Legislature and vetoed by Gov. Martinez.
– NMFPC successfully advocated for the “In-State Business Preference Act” to support local food, agriculture and many other state businesses.
– NMFPC successfully advocated for securing NM School Food Delivery Funds, totaling $600,000 in recurring monies.
– NMFPC continued to advocate for the Healthy Kids–Healthy Economy initiative “NM Grown Produce for School Meals,” a $1.44 million request.
– NMFPC worked on Farm Bill priorities and provided the NM delegation with those priorities.
– Farm to Table applied for and was awarded close to $100,0000 from the new Farm to School Competitive Grant Program.
- Advising policymakers and local and state organizations on improving NM’s procurement code to support local food purchases.
- Providing advice on the development of a federal Healthy Food Finance Initiative.
- In support of the NM Food Gap Task Force recommendations, focusing on amending the state’s Local Economic Development Act to include rural grocery stores. This would allow small NM communities to apply for funding assistance to increase economic activity and access to affordable healthy foods.
- Work with national and regional groups to focus on and advocate for federal programs that could expand access to affordable food in rural, tribal and underserved communities.
- Ongoing advocacy on a federal Farm Bill that supports local producers and consumers.
About the author
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