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Rebecca Briggs
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NSAC Action Alert: Support Local Farmers and Communities

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the nation deeply every day, farmers are still working hard to feed their communities - and they are struggling. Billions in federal aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) has gone out, but it hasn’t reached all farmers - particularly direct marketing farmers and ranchers, diversified farmers, and Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color. Local and regional food enterprises - farmers markets, food hubs, CSAs, and more - have stepped up with resilience, but they’ve not gotten support for critical safety and technology needs.

Congress returns to Washington next week, and they are overdue to pass critical pandemic aid for families and communities, including helping small and mid-scale farms and ranches, farmers markets, and local food businesses address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s good news - last week, Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) introduced the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act (H.R. 8096), and it will help meet the needs of farmers who’ve been left out. At NSAC we’re urging members of the House to co-sponsor this bill - can you join us?

Here are THREE big reasons to support this bill:

  • It offers direct support for producers selling into local and regional markets based on  the losses they’ve experienced. 
  • It prioritizes funding for BIPOC farmers and low-income communities of color and includes robust outreach, technical assistance, and data collection to ensure that aid is distributed equitably. 
  • It provides emergency response grants for farmers markets and local food enterprises to allow those operations to adapt to new market conditions, implement public health and safety protections, and further support communities experiencing food insecurity.

Got 90 seconds? Please make a call today — dial your Representative using the Capitol switchboard and urge them to co-sponsor the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act. Can’t get to the phone and want to send an email instead? We’ve got you - send one here! 

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Here is a script you can use (please adapt it as much as you’d like):

“Hello, my name is [name] and I am a constituent and a voter (tell them if you’re a farmer!).

I’m calling to urge you to co-sponsor the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act (H.R. 8096). It is critical for pandemic response and recovery for agriculture, and it will: ensure direct aid for diversified farmers, direct to consumer farmers, and farmers of color selling into local and regional markets, prioritize funding for BIPOC farmers and low-income communities of color, and provide emergency response grants for farmers markets and local food enterprises. Please fight for farmers in our state and support these provisions by co-sponsoring the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act.

Thank you for your time."

If your call is routed to an answering machine, you can leave a message too - calls really make a difference!

This bill will help farmers stay in business and keep feeding their communities, ensure equitable access to aid, and support our responsive, resilient local food supply chains. Ultimately, it will create a more resilient farm and food system for the long haul toward recovery. 

Thanks for all you do - 

The NSAC Grassroots Team

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