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News & Action Items: Nutrition & Legislative

Your Voice Needed: Put Farm to School in the Farm Bill

Tuesday, May 22, 2018   (0 Comments)
When it comes to policies that shape agriculture, food, nutrition and hunger in the United States, none are more paramount than the farm bill. This important piece of federal legislation is currently up for reauthorization, which presents ample opportunity for farm to school advocates to ensure policies that support healthy kids, thriving family farms and vibrant communities are prioritized in national food policy. How does that happen? Your voice!


The Senate Agriculture Committee is currently preparing its version of the farm bill, which means NOW is the time to make your voice heard and ensure that farm to school priorities are included. The National Farm to School Network’s priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill are:

  • Adopt the Farm to School Act of 2017 to increase mandatory funding and expand access for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program.
  • Amend the Geographic Preference provision in the existing farm bill to allow the use of “location” as a product specification when procuring school food.
  • Continue and expand to more states the Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables and allow participating states more flexibility in procuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

It is especially important that these priorities make it into the Senate version of the farm bill, as none were included in the House version (click to learn more). This means the Senate bill is one of the last opportunities for farm to school to makes its way into this important legislation. Make your voice heard now!


Take Action:

Take five minutes to pick up the phone or write an email to both of your Senators about why farm to school is important in your community. Here’s how: 

  • Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look up contact information for your two Senators here
  • Once you’re connected, leave a message like this: 

Hello, my name is [______] and I’m a constituent of Sen. [______]. I’m calling to ask that farm to school be prioritized in the Senate’s version of the farm bill. Farm to school enriches the connections communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Farm to school is strong agricultural policy that should be included in this important legislation! However, it’s been left out of the House version. That’s why I’m asking the Senator to support a farm bill that includes three things: (1) Adopts the Farm to School Act of 2017, (2) Updates “Geographic Preference” language so that schools can more easily purchase fresh food from local farmers, and (3) Continues and expands the successful Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables. [Share any personal stories about why these are important asks for your community.] Thank you for passing along this message to the Senator, and for your time. 


If you work for a government agency or university and cannot lobby, you can still make a difference! Instead of calling your Senators to discuss specific policies, share general information about farm to school in your state and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program has been successful. Sharing information is not lobbying - it’s education, which we can all do! 


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