Southern SAWG- convergence presentation
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  • Patricia L. Smith is a Senior Policy Advisor at The Reinvestment Fund. She is responsible for directing TRF’s public policy initiatives, including several collaborative efforts to improve access to healthier foods in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities.    During her career, Ms. Smith has held senior management positions in philanthropy and the public and nonprofit sectors.Alexandra Ashbrook- Alex serves as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, an anti-hunger, anti-poverty nonprofit in the District and an initiative of FRAC. She works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income families in the nation’s capital. She leads and participates in many city-wide coalitions and most recently, was appointed as chair of the D.C.’s Mayor’s Commission on Food and Nutrition in September 2009.Alex, who joined FRAC in January 2007 as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, brings extensive advocacy experience to her role, much of which has focused on the needs of vulnerable youth. While at Georgetown Law School’s D.C. Street Law Project, Alex supervised law students teaching at D.C. public high schools. She spent the last ten years working at Street Law, the national nonprofit dedicated to transforming democratic ideals into citizen action. Alex received her JD and LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.Kathleen Fitzgerald- Kate Fitzgerald’s work focuses on promoting national policy that connects family farmers with low-income consumers to create food systems that build real community wealth. She began work at the Texas Department of Agriculture after the farm crisis of the 1980s, helping establish farmers markets that allowed farmers to earn more for their products and were certified to accept food stamps and WIC coupons so that all customers could shop there. Since then she has worked at the local, state and national level advocating for policies that will build a more just food system in the US. Helen Dombalisis a Policy Associate at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She has researched the role of local and regional food systems in community economic development and advocated at the grassroots and federal levels. 
  • Title IV – Nutrition Programs, 67% ($188.9 billion)
  • Graphic was created by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Article and graphic can be found here: http://www.pcrm.org/good-medicine/2007/autumn/health-vs-pork-congress-debates-the-farm-bill
  • Graphic- Whatcom County agricultural workers found CoopertivaJacal: A Cooperative Organic Farm
  • Other Key Players for Congressional Action are:Senator Reid and Speaker of the House Boehner will be key for securing time on the floor to take up the Farm BillHouse Budget Committee
  • There are many competing interests in a Farm Bill debate/reauthorization.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe latest on the Farm Bill -it is looking very unlikely that the bill will go to the full floor of the House anytime soon.  Rather, it seems that an unofficial conference (a gathering of Members of Congress to compare Senate and House bills) might be the next step.  I say it could be "unofficial" because it seems that rather than appointing Senators and Representatives to serve as official conferees, the four leaders (Stabenow and Roberts in the Senate and Lucas and Peterson in the House) will do as they did back in the fall during the Super Committee and work amongst themselves internally.Also, since the current bill is set to expire September 30, we expect an extension bill also to be written in case they cannot get a final bill done before then.
  • Healthy food financing: resources to support an array of approaches to eliminate food deserts and improve access to healthy food : grocery stores, farmers markets, corner store conversions, etcSNAP: provides resources for decreasing purchasing foodHealthy Food Incentives (including at farmers markets): vouchers to expand SNAP resources for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetablesRegional food infrastructure development: different approaches to improve the food system, including support for sustainable agriculture
  • NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.MFSRD includes local/regional food, child nutrition, farm to school, and then food system infrastructure
  • Southern SAWG functions as a regional entity, working with and through hundreds of associated organizations across 13 southern states. By building partnerships, sharing information and conducting analysis, Southern SAWG transforms isolated ideas and innovations into practical tools and approaches for widespread use.
  • When we describe our work, we think of the three legs of the sustainability stool – environment, economics, and equity, or people, planet, and profit. We work to ensure farmers grow and raise food that sustains our natural resources, fosters vibrant communities, and ensure their own well-being as the producers of our food.
  • -Improvemarketing outlets by creating a level playing field for electronic benefit transfer Among vendors- Improve the ability of schools to procure local foods and fresh produce in lieu of participation in traditional commodity programs- Improve the ability of Rural Development programs that fund infrastructure and development to fund local and regional food systems
  • Small-scale entrepreneurship is the one economic development strategy that consistently works in rural communities. Rural development programs targeted at small business development contribute to job creation in rural areas. Providing training and technical assistance to the next generation of farmers can help buck the aging farmer trend and ensure future food security
  • BFRDP-- First authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill but never received funding during the annual appropriations process2008 Farm Bill: authorized a total of $75 million in mandatory funding ($18 million for FY2009 and $19 million in FY2010-2012) and $30 million in discretionary funding annuallyThe 2012 Senate bill adds a funding priority for veterans2501-provides grants to Land Grant Institutions (1862, 1890, or 1994), Native American Tribal Governments and organizations, Latino-Serving Institutions, State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education, and community-based organizations and non-profits that work with minority and socially disadvantaged farmers.
  • The work that I have described on behalf of NSAC and Southern SAWG is part of our larger agriculture and food system. By increasing demand for fresh, local products, and by facilitating market opportunities, not only do low-income Americans benefit, but so too do our nation’s farmers. Together, we envision a healthy, food-secure population supporting a vibrant and economically sustainable food system.
  • how the system works in the market, how the program started, etc.
  • Citation: DUFB 2012 Evaluation Report
  • Note: This percentage is down from 2011 at the same time that the % of farmers who say they are selling more f&v is up from 80% and those making more money is up from 75% in 2011. Farmers are successfully responding to the new market.
  •  
  • This is the final page, and is designed to reiterate the theme of the presentation and leave the audience with a clear view of the way SNAP incentives connect the linked challenges of farm revenue and access to healthy food.And improving healthy food access for low-income families.
  • A campaign for a national healthy food financing initiative was launched in 2009 by:PolicyLink (a national research and action group lifting up best practices), The Food Trust (which promotes the need for access to healthy foods) andThe Reinvestment Fund (a community development financial institution)
  • In 2004, the Commonwealth of PA, in partnership with TRF and The Food TrustLaunched the PA Fresh Food Financing Initiative in response to the state’s growing rates of obesity and food insecurity. The PA program was designed to address the unique start‐up costs and other market barriers that deter opening and operating grocery businesses in low-income communities.The initiative also demonstrated that a well-targeted financing program can create and expand markets for small businesses and local farmers. TRF gathered information through store owner interviews on how FFFI financing had affected their ability to access credit, stay in business, carry new lines of products (including fresh foods and produce) and stimulate economic activity in their communities.
  • Brightwood Development Corp. has established a food and agricultural products processing and distribution facility in western Puerto Rico in the Porta del Sol region with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Food and Agro-Processing Center supports local producers of healthy and organic vegetable products for distribution in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Hispanic market. Northside Community Food Hub slated to open in April 2013 is a hybrid business that combines elements of a grocery store, farmers’ market, restaurant, community garden and learning lab. The Food Hub is poised to create 23 new jobs in the community, renew and grow vital community connections and provide access to nutritious prepared foods, groceries and produce in a community that is severely lacking healthy food options. CEI’s HFFI financing takes several forms: flexible debt, guarantees, and equity or equity-like financing (typically subordinated debt). Financing can be used for capital expenses such as buildings, retail space, and storage space; equipment such as freezers, coolers, generators, shelving, and lighting; expansion costs; refresh costs; succession planning; working capital.HFFI is one piece of a broader effort designed to support the growth and expansion of rural food economies in Maine helping CEI to finance along the entire value chain from farm production to food retail; Cooperative Fund of New England was founded in 1975 to meet a market need for food co‐op financing,CFNE’s mission is to advance community‐based, cooperative and democratically owned or managed enterpriseswith preference to those that serve low income communities. CFNE’s food sector portfolio includes retailoutlets, producer co‐ops, produce transporters and incubator kitchens for start‐up food processors and caterersthroughout New England.
  • As you can see from this Chart, USDA through a national fund manager will fund local partnerships organized to improve access to healthy foods at the state, regional or local level.Local partnerships will be charged with:identifying communities needs,setting priorities,raising local funds to match the federal investment, and of course funding healthy food retail projects. In addition, the National Fund Manager will also assist with raising matching funds to leverage the federal grant funds and partnering with food access organization to provide TA.Finally, the USDA will be responsible for holding the national fund manager accountable by periodic auditing and performance assessments.
  • To recap, a healthy food financing initiative should be a part of our nation’s food & agriculture policy. Developing quality healthy food retailers:provides market opportunities for local farmers,creates and preserve much need jobs, stimulates small business development, andcontributes to better health outcomes.
  • Not sure if it’s appropriate for you to give this out, but if so…..For more information about HFFI: www.policylink.org/KeepMeInformed/HFFI.Next speaker is Patricia Smith, TRF

Southern SAWG- convergence presentation Southern SAWG- convergence presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 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 View slide
  • 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 View slide
  • 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
  • Double Up Food Bucks Quantifiable SuccessMichigan Farmers Markets – SNAP Sales Growth
  • 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: info@fairfoodnetwork.org • 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: judith@policylink.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: jweidman@thefoodtrust.org• 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: patricia.smith@trfund.com
  • For more information: Judith Bell, President PolicyLink jbell@policylink.org Helen Dombalis National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition hdombalis@sustainableagriculture.net Kathleen Fitzgerald Fair Food Network kathleenfitzgerald08@gmail.com Alexandra Ashbrook DC Hunger Solutions aashbrook@dchunger.org Patricia L. Smith, Senior Policy Advisor The Reinvestment Fund Patricia.Smith@trfund.com