Federal Farm to School Legislation and Implementation Process and What You Can Do!


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Helen Dombalis, Policy Associate
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

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Federal Farm to School Legislation and Implementation Process and What You Can Do!

  1. 1. Claire Benjamin, Office of Congresswoman PingreeHelen Dombalis, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Diane Kriviski, US Department of Agriculture Betti Wiggins, Detroit Public Schools 2012 Farm to Cafeteria Conference
  2. 2. Icebreaker Stand up if you’ve heard of the Farm Bill Stand up if you’ve ever worked on a Farm Bill Stand up if you know the names of your two Senators Stand up if you know the name of your Representative Stand up if you’ve ever contacted one of your Members of Congress about an issue important to you Stand up if you’ve ever met one of your Members of Congress
  3. 3. CNR 101: History Omnibus legislation renewed roughly every five years Includes the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act This policy can have huge effects on federal meal programs and their participants
  4. 4. CNR 101: Programs The National School Breakfast, National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are permanently authorized through the federal Child Nutrition Program These and other programs are considered during CNR reauthorization  Summer Food Service Program  WIC, and including WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program  Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program  Special Milk Program
  5. 5. Advocacy: Farm to School Grants Multi-organizational advocacy  National Farm to School Network  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition  Community Food Security Coalition The ask: $50 million over 10 years ($5 million per year) What we did  Joint hill meetings  Sign-on letters The win: $40 million over 8 years ($5 million per year) Implementation:  Joint letters to USDA
  6. 6. Farm to School Grant ProgramImplementation Request for Applications Selection process Remaining $1.5 million
  7. 7. Farm to School In Action
  8. 8. Engaging with Partners
  9. 9. Farm Bill 101: Overview• Title I – Commodity • Title IX – Energy Programs • Title X – Horticulture &• Title II – Conservation Organic Agriculture• Title III – Trade • Title XI – Livestock• Title IV – Nutrition Programs • Title XII – Crop Insurance• Title V – Credit • Title XIII – Commodity• Title VI – Rural Development Futures• Title VII – Research • Title XIV – Miscellaneous• Title VIII – Forestry • Title XV – Trade & Taxes
  10. 10. Farm Bill 101: Programs andBackground Nutrition  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)  Community Food Projects (CFP) Agriculture  Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)  Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG)  Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG)  National Organic Certification Cost Share Program Conservation  Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)  Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. Farm Bill 101: Key Players Agribusiness Lobby  International Trade and Anti-Hunger Advocates Globalization Nutrition/Public Health  Renewable Energy Community Food  Government Agencies Security  Organic Groups Conservation/  Sustainable Ag Environmental Groups
  13. 13. Congresswoman Pingree’s Farm toSchool Advocacy Eat Local Food Act Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act
  14. 14. Advocacy: Farm to Cafeteria in the Farm Bill USDA Foods (commodities)  Establish a “local food credit program” that allows schools to use an amount equal to 15 percent of their USDA Foods dollars for purchases of local and regional foods in lieu of commodities Department of Defense Fresh  Allow schools and other service institutions a discretionary option to use their DoD dollars for a “local food credit” with which to make their own purchases of local and regional produce
  15. 15. Where We Stand Now Senate-passed Farm Bill:  Authorizes pilots in five states to explore local food procurement in schools House Agriculture Committee-passed Farm Bill:  Authorizes schools with low annual commodity entitlement values (small rural schools) to start making their own food purchases in lieu of USDA commodities, provided USDA determines this would yield reduced administrative costs  Creates demonstration projects in at least 10 schools to test alternatives to USDA distribution through farm to school procurement  Authorizes a five-state pilot program to explore alternatives to the DoD Fresh program for procurement of fresh fruits and vegetables
  16. 16. How potential Farm Bill legislationmight impact food service directorson the ground
  17. 17. Status of the Farm Bill Current Farm Bill expires Sept. 30, 2012 Full Senate passed bill June 21, 2012 House Agriculture Committee passed bill July 12, 2012 Conference? Extension?
  18. 18. What You Can Do! Sign up for NSAC and CFSC/NFSN action alerts Call and/or meet with your Members of Congress and tell them what matters to you. How do you know who to call? Go to congress.org and type in your zip code. Apply for a Farm to School Grant next year
  19. 19. Questions?