November 2022 Food for Thought
Advocacy postcards through our Food for Thought program are back! We have sample messages to elected officials, blank postcards, and stamps waiting and ready to go at Extraordinary Ventures during our sort dates. If you are coming to volunteer or to drop off donated food, please feel welcome to join as you can (this time or in the future – the messaging changes each month). There will be a table set up with postcards and someone on hand to walk you through postcard writing if you’re new to it – it’s super easy! The time commitment is less than 5 minutes for a postcard. Let our legislators and other elected officials know that we are paying attention and that we insist they enact policies that prioritize our most vulnerable neighbors.
Want to write a postcard from home? Go for it! Our sample messaging for this month is below. (Note: If you would rather email them or call your elected officials, feel free! We encourage you to reach out in whatever way is most comfortable.)
Once you have contacted your elected officials, we ask that you fill out this brief form to let us know that you have done so. It will only take a minute. This helps us to measure our impact! Thank you!
Dear Deputy Undersecretary Wu OR
Dear NC Chief Deputy Commissioner Smith,
The Local Food Purchase Assistance and Local Food for Schools partnerships between USDA and the state of NC are cause for celebration! These programs will nourish our children and support underserved farmers while helping the planet by reducing the distance our food travels.
Address postcards to:
- Undersecretary Mae Wu, US Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave SW, Whitten Building, Washington, DC 20250
- Chief Deputy Commissioner David Smith, Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 2 W Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Some background info:
Two federal-state NC partnership programs have recently been announced which support 1.) the purchasing of healthy local food for our state’s school kids 2.) a healthy economy and equity by purchasing produce and products from socially disadvantaged farmers, small farmers, and small businesses.
USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program provides up to $900 million to support local, regional, and underserved producers, and maintain or improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency through the purchase of food produced within the state or within 400 miles of delivery destination.
Through USDA’s Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program, states can purchase and distribute up to $200 million in local and regional foods and beverages unique to their geographic area for schools to serve children through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs with the goal of improving child nutrition. Through both programs, NCDA&CS will increase the access to fresh, healthy, locally grown foods in underserved communities across the state and will provide nutritious, healthy meals for students while introducing and teaching them about fresh, local produce while investing in small North Carolina businesses to cultivate a stable, thriving local food system.
“Creating more opportunities for North Carolinians to source local products from North Carolina farmers is beneficial all around, for consumers, farmers, and our local food supply long term,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have long advocated and supported serving local foods in schools through our Farm to School program, and the addition of over $5.6 million through the federal Local Food for Schools Program is expected to strengthen and expand our efforts and allow schools to connect and develop relationships with socially disadvantaged farmers, small farmers, and small businesses to the benefit of students, farmers, and communities.”
Questions? Reach out to Susan Romaine at email@example.com.