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COVID-19 STIMULUS PACKAGE FOR THE FOOD SYSTEM

Posted: March 26 2020

Huge gratitude to the National Family Farm Coalition, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy for putting together these policy recommendations responding to the $2 trillion Senate stimulus bill.

These coalitions are concerned that the stimulus bill "and other existing proposals have too few protections for working families, too many corporate bailouts, and limited language on supporting food producers and food workers through this crisis."

Their message to congress emphasiezs that "farmers, ranchers, and fishermen need (to name a few) emergency payments, debt relief, access to zero interest credit, and support to adapt their markets and distribution, and that these short-term provisions should be linked to systemic reforms.  Farm, fish and food workers should also receive a range of protections including unemployment assistance, paid sick leave and access to healthcare."

The policy recommendations are organized by three headers: (1) ENSURE A FAIR LIVELIHOOD FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS, FISHERMEN AND ALL FARM, FISH AND FOOD WORKERS, (2) BOLSTER LOCAL & REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS POISED TO FEED COMMUNITIES, and (3) ENACT SYSTEMIC REFORM TO BUILD RESILIENCE FOR ALL FOOD PRODUCERS, WORKERS AND EATERS.

SHARE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH YOUR CONGRESS MEMBERS AND NETWORKS! Copy & paste below:

Dear ____________,
Thank you for your hard work during this crisis.  While some of the proposed measures in the existing stimulus packages will help to boost the economy and provide some aid to households and industries, they fall short with respect to protections for food producers and workers. 
Several leading organizations, including NAMA, the National Family Farm Coalition, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy came together to address the issues that producers and workers are currently facing. Attached are policy recommendations for a stimulus package to support the food system.  They include measures to:

  • Protect the livelihoods of food producers and workers
  • Bolster local & regional food systems that are poised to feed communities, and
  • Create systemic changes that build resilience of food producers, workers and eaters

Thanks for your consideration and please let me know if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
___________________