Food and Agriculture Policy Collaborative Policies That Promote Healthy Food and Healthy Economies January 25, 2013
Healthy Food, Healthy EconomiesA session to explore the how efforts to improve foodsecurity and access to healthy, local foods canstrengthen our communities. Speakers will presentinformation and data to help you make the case inyour own community. Central questions:• How does policy shape our food systems?• How does access to healthy food and adequate purchasing power contribute to strong local economies?
FEATURED SPEAKERSJudith Bell Kathleen FitzgeraldPresident ConsultantPolicyLink Fair Food NetworkAlexandra Ashbrook Helen DombalisDirector Policy AssociateD.C. Hunger Solutions National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
The Farm Bill• Primary piece of agriculture and food policy legislation• Covers many issues, ranging from hunger issues in America to price supports for large crops• Reauthorized roughly every five years• Farm Bill legislation dates back to the 1930s
Farm Bill Goals from the Beginning (1930)• Ensure a stable and affordable food supply• Protect farmers from price volatility• Provide a food safety net for the poor• Support farm production and rural development• Conserve natural resources• Create new sources of energy
Farm Bill 101: Distribution of Mandatory Spending
The Farm Bill and FoodThe biggest drivers of poor diet are all regulated by the Farm Bill *Graphic produced by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Characteristics of a Healthy Food System• Nutritious food is affordable and accessible• System supports the production of nutritious, fresh food
Characteristics of a Healthy Food System• Food is produced in ways that does not harm workers or the environment • Production systems create and sustain jobs and build wealth in rural and urban communities
Farm Bill 101: Congressional Committees• Authorizing Committees: write the Farm Bill – House Committee on Agriculture – Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry• Appropriations Committees: determine how much funding should be allocated for specific programs during each fiscal year
Farm Bill: Key Players• Agribusiness Lobby • International Trade and• Anti-Hunger Globalization Advocates • Renewable Energy• Nutrition/Public • Government Agencies Health • Organic Groups• Community Food • Sustainable Ag Security• Conservation/ Environmental Groups
2013 Farm BillAt some point this year, the Congresswill begin to debate the next Farm Bill.The actual timing and the contents of a proposed Farm Bill are uncertain.
Food and Agriculture Policy CollaborativeWidespread support across disciplines and amongdiverse sectors to include the following in the nextFarm Bill: • Healthy Food Financing Initiative • SNAP • SNAP Incentive Programs • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Strengthening the Local andRegional Farm and Food System Infrastructure Helen Dombalis, Policy AssociateNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Who We Are and What We Do• The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.• More than 90 member organizations• Policy and grassroots work• Issue committees including Marketing, Food Systems, and Rural Development
NSAC’s Regional Partner:Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group• Southern SAWG was founded in 1991 to foster a movement toward a more sustainable farming and food system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane.
Overview of Our Work• Increasing the number of small and mid-sized family farmers producing sustainable food• Improve the long-term economic viability of sustainable and organic farming• Strengthen rural and urban communities through food- and agriculture-based development
Local and Regional Food Systems• Skyrocketing consumer demand for local food that agricultural producers and entrepreneurs are striving to meet• Despite these opportunities, significant infrastructure, marketing, and information barriers are limiting growth
Supply, Demand, and the Supply Chain• Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)• Farm to School• Infrastructure
Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers • Over half of all new jobs created in the most rural areas come from small, non-farm business ventures. • The average age of an American agricultural producer today is 57
BFRDP and 2501BFRDP 2501• A competitive grant • Outreach and Assistance administered by NIFA for Socially Disadvantaged• Funds Farmers and Ranchers education, extension, outr • The goal of 2501 is to each, and technical assure that these farmers assistance initiatives and ranchers have directed at helping opportunities to successfully beginning farmers and acquire, own, operate, and ranchers retain farms and ranches and equitably participate in all USDA programs.
Connecting the Dots• Defending and improving SNAP’s structure, benefits and eligibility can yield increased income for farmers• Incentivizing healthy, local food purchases similarly provides more opportunities for farmers to sell their produce• Healthy food financing establishes additional avenues through which farmers can market
What You Can Do!• Sign up for NSAC action alerts: http://sustainableagriculture.net/take- action/• Sign up for NSAC blogs: http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/• Follow us on Facebook
Bridging the GapThrough SNAP Incentives Kate Fitzgerald for Fair Food Network
Linked Challenges• Dwindling revenue at family-owned, small and mid-sized farms• Few good food options for low-income consumers
SNAP Incentives Address Both ChallengesFARMERS: • Increase income • Develop loyal new customer baseSNAP consumers: • Use their benefits at farmers markets • Double benefit value • Buy healthy, fresh, local food
And Stimulate Local Economies• Farmers spend dollars in rural communities• Farmers hire more labor• Farmers markets create new jobs (4 on average)• Businesses near markets increase sales
Double Up Food Bucks How it Works
Measuring the EffectIn 2012, Michigan farmers received almost $2 millionin increased SNAP and DUFB sales.
Double Up Food BucksResponse from Farmers
Double Up Food BucksResponse from Customers
Double Up Food Bucks Quantifiable SuccessMidwest Farmers Markets – Total 2012 SNAP Sales Total Sales: $2,273,681 Source: USDA
Expanding the EffectSNAP use in farmers markets as % of total SNAP foodpurchases by state.
SNAP Incentive Programs• Proven success• Next steps to scaling – SNAP Incentives in the Farm Bill – Nationwide adoption
SNAP Incentiveslay the foundation for improving healthy food access forlow-income families and the future of rural communities.
Fair Food NetworkFor more information and updates: • Web: www.fairfoodnetwork.org • Email: email@example.com • Phone: (734) 213-3999 • YouTube: View educational and promotional videos from FFN www.youtube.com/fairfoodnetwork • Facebook: www.facebook.com/FairFoodNetwork • Twitter: @fairfoodnetwork
Southern SSAWGSNAP and the Farm Bill Alex AshbrookD.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative ofthe Food Research and Action Center January 25, 2013
American households struggling to afford food “Have there been times in the last 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” (Gallup)Households answering yes in the 1st 6 months of 2012:18.2% nationallyWorst 10 states:MS, AL, DE, GA, NV, AR, OK, TN, WV, LA.
Food hardship in virtually every Congressional district (2010-2011) • 48 Congressional districts >/= 25% • 162 Congressional districts >/= 20% • 323 Congressional districts >/= 15%Median Congressional district = 18.2%Median House Agriculture Committee memberdistrict = 18.3%
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)(“food stamps”)Number of beneficiaries each month: • 1996 – 25.5 million • 2000 - 17.2 million • 2007 – 26.5 million • 2009 – 33.5 million • October 2013 – 47.5 million
Benefit allotments and redemptions• Maximum $668/month, family of four (Thrifty Food Plan) (Low cost food plan = $822/month)• Average SNAP benefit: $4.50/day/person• EBT Cards• 93% of benefits redeemed at supermarkets, superstores, grocery stores, specialty food stores
Strengths of SNAP - General• Reduces hunger/food insecurity• Structural – responsive to economic need• Targeted: – 93% of benefits households below poverty line – 85% of benefits households with seniors, people with disabilities, or children – 47% of recipients are children• Helps working families as well as unemployed – 41% of participants are in households with earnings
Strengths of SNAP - Economic• Stimulates economy: each SNAP $1 produces $1.73 - $1.79 of economic activity• Counter-cyclical• Creates jobs: $1 billion SNAP 9,800 to 19,800 for FTEs plus PTs• Builds on mainstream commerce• Reduces poverty• Frees up family resources for other basic needs
Strengths of SNAP - Nutrition Impacts• Raises food expenditures; improves nutrient availability• Improves child health• May reduce obesity• Across broad food categories, little difference between food choices/ expenditures of low-income and high- income families
Farm Bill• President’s Budget (FY 2013): - restores Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act benefits allotment cut - eases access for unemployed workers• Senate Bill: - cuts $4.5 billion (eliminates coordination of SNAP and LIHEAP)• House Bill: - Cuts $16 billion o Senate LIHEAP provision o reduces allowable assets o reduces allowable income
Learn More…Follow developments on FRAC website – http://frac.orgSign up for FRAC alerts – http://bit.ly/9FzB66Follow us on Facebook – facebook.com/foodresearchandactioncenterFollow us on Twitter – twitter.com/#!/fractweets
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Increasing Food Access Improving Health OutcomesCreating Economic Opportunity Judith Bell, President PolicyLink
A Successful Model: PA Fresh Food Financing Initiative• 88 new or expanded healthy food retail projects• $73.2 million in loans and $12.1 million in grants to healthy food retailers• $190 million in total project costs resulting from $30 million in state seed money• 400,000 residents with increased access to healthy food• 5,000 jobs created or retained
State & Local Initiatives• NJ Food Access Initiative• CA FreshWorks Fund• IL Fresh Food Fund• New Orleans Fresh Food Retail Incentive Fund• NY Healthy Foods, Healthy Communities Fund
Healthy Food Financing Initiative A National Campaign• Improve access to healthy food in low- income, underserved, rural, s uburban, & urban communities• Support small business development, job creation• Contribute to sustainable food system development• Incent public-private partnerships• $477 million in grants and tax credits already distributed
HFFI Federal ActionsA coordinated effort to increase access tohealthy foods in underserved urban& rural communitiesInteragency group established in 2010to guide implementationFiscal year 2013 budget request: Total of $285 million through: • Treasury: $25 million • HHS: $10 million • NMTC Program: potential for $250 million (or more) available
HFFI Impact• $ 77 million awarded to 47 CDCs & CDFIs from across the country awarded HFFI Funds• More than $400 million in New Market Tax Credits allocated to CDEs to support a diversity of food access projectsDiversity of projects funded:• Supermarkets, grocery stores, food hubs, farmers markets, CSAs, corner stores, food processors, distribution centers• For-profit businesses, cooperatives, non-profit organizations
A Sampling of HFFI ProjectsFood and Agro Processing CenterBrightwood Development CorporationPorta del Sol region , PRNorthside Community Food HubButterfly FoundationSpartanburg, SCAgriculture Enterprise InitiativeCoastal EnterprisesPortland MEHealthy Foods Cooperative CommunitiesCooperative Fund of New EnglandAmherst, MA
HFFI & the Farm Bill• Enhance USDA’s ability to improve access and demand for healthy foods by providing one- stop financing for healthy food retailers.• Support a range of locally-determined strategies designed to strengthen regional and local food systems
HFFI Farm Bill Proposal • Selects a CDFI using a competitive process to manage a National Fund • Oversees & monitors program implementation USDA • Raises private capital nationally • Funds local partnership using a competitive processA CDFI • Provides TA to local public/private partnerships • Develops investment strategy & raises local funding Local • Evaluates and finances local projects and provides TAPartners
HFFI Benefits• Market opportunities for local farmers• Jobs & small business development• Revitalized neighborhoods• Better health outcomes
For more HFFI information and updates: www.policylink.org/KeepMeInformed/HFFI• PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works ®. www.policylink.org• Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org• The Food Trust, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit organization working to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. www.thefoodtrust.org• Contact: email@example.com• The Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution, invests in distressed markets and conducts research on policy issues that influence neighborhood revitalization & economic growth. www.trfund.com• Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: Judith Bell, President PolicyLink email@example.com Helen Dombalis National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org Kathleen Fitzgerald Fair Food Network email@example.com Alexandra Ashbrook DC Hunger Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org Patricia L. Smith, Senior Policy Advisor The Reinvestment Fund Patricia.Smith@trfund.com