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Dear Rebecca,

It's been a busy summer with Congress still deliberating over the next COVID-19 aid package, and the election right around the corner.

In fantastic news, the Local and Regional Farmer Support Act was introduced by Congresswoman Alma Adams this week, which would provide aid for diversified farms and farmers markets. I encourage everyone to take a moment and call to thank her at (202) 225-1510!

Want to know how to help farms in the next COVID-19 stimulus bill?
 
Got four minutes? That's all you need! While your brew your next pot of coffee or tea, pull up our Action Alert, which includes background info, numbers to call, and a script.

Never called a legislator before? Watch this short video for more guidance.

As we have seen, the position our elected officials take on local food issues has a tremendous effect (even more so in the current time). We're excited to collaborate with many allies to put on a state-level virtual candidate forum on Food, Farms, and Hunger on Wednesday, Sept. 9 (more info below). And if you want a sneak peek, tune in to our Facebook at 10 am on Friday, Sept. 4, where we'll sit down with RAFI and NC Alliance for Health to discuss what attendees can expect.
 


If you're thinking of hosting your own forum or otherwise engaging with candidates, check out the new questions that we added to Questions for Candidates 2020 in light of new issues raised by COVID-19.

In solidarity,

Nick

Nick Wood, CFSA Policy Director

PS - Registration for our 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 9!

 
   
VIDEO UPDATES FROM CFSA
Want a live video explaining the biggest policy issues we're working on? You're in luck! Each Friday at 10 am, CFSA goes live on Facebook for 10-20 minutes to give you updates on food and farming news (including policy updates).

Until then, here are our more recent policy-rated broadcasts.

Pinehurst Farmers Market (Columbia, SC)
April Jones, Pinehurst Farmers Market Manager | Aug. 28, 2020 - today!


 
A Federal Update from Washington
Eric Deeble, NSAC Policy Director | Aug. 14, 2020 

 

Every Friday | 10 am | CFSA's Facebook
Recordings are also available on our Instagram (IGTV)
 
Farms, Food, & Hunger: Conversations with Candidates
 
Join a virtual, nonpartisan candidate forum to hear state-level candidates discuss important issues related to food, health, and farming in North Carolina.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 | 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual (on Zoom)
Who Can Attend? Anyone

Confirmed Candidates Attending:
  • Jennifer Wadsworth (Agriculture Commissioner)
  • Josh Dobson and Jessica Holmes (Labor Commissioner)
  • Yvonne Holley (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Jen Mangrum and Catherine Truitt (School Superintendent) 
Hosts: CFSA, Feeding the Carolinas, MomsRising, NC Alliance for Health, NC Rural Center, & RAFI-USA
 
Once you've registered, let us know and help spread the word.


IF YOU READ ONE FOOD/FARMING
POLICY ARTICLE THIS MONTH...


Here are the top reads from CFSA's policy team
Jared Cates, Community Mobilizer

Fixing the COVID Food Disaster Can Slash Climate Emissions

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the logistics of our local, national, and globalized food systems have been constantly rearranging to fill the gaps left by changing consumer patterns due to state-ordered shutdowns. The small and mid-sized farm and food industries are still reeling from the loss of restaurant and hospitality markets, however, innovative collaborations and distribution models have evolved to better connect consumers directly with food producers in this new socially distanced reality.

CFSA’s FarmsSHARE is just one example of the many programs around the country that have developed to connect people who are experiencing food insecurity with food donations purchased from local farmers and producers. This article from Grist highlights the opportunities that exist in these new localized models, and how they can be strong tools to build regional food systems, combat food waste, hunger, and ultimately to mitigate climate change. 
Matt Kneece, SC Policy Coordinator

U.S. Meat Supply Chain Pays the Price for Negligent Working Conditions
 
You’d be hard-pressed to find work environments that have not been upended in one way or another by COVID-19. That’s especially true for workers in the industrial meat processing sector, but what’s worse, they’ve faced health and safety concerns long before COVID-19 turned the world upside down. This Johns Hopkins Hub article does an impressive job of outlining the high risks that front-line meat-production workers face in their daily lives—from widespread COVID-19 outbreaks to industrial accidents and more. Several South Carolina plants have been admonished in the news over the summer, but these issues are systemic nationwide.
 
As increasingly-negligent working conditions in these processing plants continue to result in plant suspensions and closures, the fragile and overly-complex food supply chain in the United States will continue to face disruptions. What price will the U.S. pay in the name of “efficiency”? 
Nick Wood, Policy Director

Local Farms Left Out of COVID-19 Relief

USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue described the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) as a “lifeline” for farms of all sizes impacted by COVID-19. Yet, when CFAP was unveiled in May, CFSA (and many others) pointed out that the program left out small and mid-sized farms because it, among many other things, doesn’t compensate for actual losses incurred by diversified farms relying on local, direct-to-consumer markets.

The initial results are in and the extent of the inequalities is jarring, as the top 1% of recipients took home $1.2 billion, 20% of the funds distributed thus far. The smallest 10% of recipients have received only 0.26% (you read that right!) of the aid—with one farmer receiving a check for seven cents. Check out this recent NBC News article for more. 

 
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The
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, growers, and the land.

 
(919) 542-2402 | info@carolinafarmstewards.org
 
Copyright © 2020 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, All rights reserved.


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