Welcome to the January 2022 edition of The Buzz. I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since I started with CFSA, roughly a month after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter year three of the pandemic, challenges and opportunities remain for the local food community.
With the 2023 Farm Bill around the corner, the coming year will be critical for advancing racial equity, harnessing the power of sustainable agriculture to mitigate climate change, create markets, and strengthen local food systems. The great news is that so many CFSA members and partners spent last year building an even stronger base of grassroots advocates!
One of the issues that I’m particularly excited about is increased government funding to purchase fresh, healthy, local produce and protein to distribute to people in need. The North Carolina budget included $2 million for FarmsSHARE, and the Carolinas will receive more than $18 million from the USDA for local food purchases later this year.
Local food leaders will have the ability to carry this momentum forward thanks to the introduction of the Fresh Produce Procurement Reform Act (FPPRA) in Congress. The CFSA Policy Team will meet with Congressional offices in February and ask them to co-sponsor FPPRA. If you are interested in joining the effort, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Wood, CFSA Advocacy Manager