Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Initiative on Local Produce for Schools Falls Short in Legislature

The following is an update from Pam Roy, director of the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council

HB208, NM Grown Fresh Fruits an Vegetables for School Meals
sponsored by Representative Hall and Speaker Egolf
SB379, NM Grown for School Meal Programs
sponsored by Senator Pat Woods

"The House Appropriations Committee did not recommend it for funding in House Bill 2 and amendments. Thus, the Senate would have to take the appropriation request under consideration through an amendment process that required finding an "offset" - finding funds from within current state budgets that could be transferred to this program with the support of the agency. Though we attempted this process, the amendments were not accepted. Thus, no funding has been allocated to this program through this legislature.

It is possible there will be a Special Session which could provide another opportunity. This being said, the Public Education Department or other agency would need to be willing to be "home" to and administer the program. This is truly disappointing, yet we will continue to work to make this a permanent program within an agency.

We have leadership support through the NM Department of Agriculture to assist us in bringing the various parties together to build on our plan and progress and we have champion legislators who will continue to support our efforts. Thank you to everyone who has is committed to this program!

The good news is that we are formalizing the NM Farm to School Network as an outcome of the NM Food and Farms Day initiative. There is much to look forward to and we want to thank the many schools, school food service, farmers, and community organizations for making this program so vibrant!"

Other agriculture and food-related legislation is still pending.  Here are more details

No comments: