Category Archives: Policy

FMC Supports the 2014 Farm Bill

Jen O'Brien January 29, 2014

Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) joins fellow local food advocates in reluctantly supporting this bipartisan Farm Bill. There are a number of aspects of the pending bill that hurt SNAP families and very unfortunately, remove the sound language in the core legislation on payment limits for large farmers. Despite these issues, the bill offers substantial support…

Congress Conferees Agree Upon 2014 Farm Bill

Jen O'Brien January 27, 2014

It’s been two arduous years, but the House and Senate Agriculture Committee conferees have finally agreed upon a bipartisan bill. The bill will reduce spending by about $23 billion over the next ten years, with about a third of those savings coming from a $8.6 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We…

FSMA Update: FDA Will Revise and Re-release Portions of the Proposed Food Safety Rules

Jen O'Brien December 23, 2013

At the end of last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they would be rewriting four major portions of the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules, and re-releasing them for additional public comment. Mike Taylor, the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, stated that the decision to make significant…

Trending at the Market: WIC Cash Value Vouchers

Stacy November 7, 2013

by Emily Finn, Research & Education Intern The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) aims to improve access to nutritious foods for low-income pregnant women, mothers, and young children. The number of WIC participants has held steadily around 9 million from 2008-2012. After enrolling in WIC, participants receive monthly checks, vouchers,…

FMC Submits Comments on SNAP Retailer Requirements

Jen O'Brien November 6, 2013

Earlier this month, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) solicited input on SNAP retailer regulations and ways to increase healthy food access to SNAP participants. Specifically, FNS requested, ‘information from any and all interested parties on opportunities to enhance retailer definitions and requirements in a manner that improves access to healthy food choices for SNAP participants as well as program integrity, and ensures that only those…

The New Food Safety Rules are Bad for Farms and Food

Jen O'Brien October 4, 2013

In 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This new legislation was put in place to update the rules and regulations governing the production and handling of our food supply. To implement FSMA, The FDA has spent the past three years creating a new set of requirements for food facilities—including farms—that handle or…

Farmers Markets and the Farm Bill: What’s Happening Now

Liz Comiskey July 28, 2013

by Jen O’Brien As the saga of the Farm Bill stretches on, it has grown increasingly complicated. Here’s an update of what’s happened in the past two months regarding the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Though these programs represent a very small piece of the bill’s budget,…

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Analyzed: New Reports Find Positive Effects on Producers, Consumers, and Communities

Stacy July 11, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2013 Primary Contact: Stacy Miller, Project Director at the Farmers Market Coalition 434-984-0175, stacy@farmersmarketcoalition.org Additional Contact: Emery Van Hook, Interim Executive Director at Market Umbrella 504-861-4485, emery@marketumbrella.org Farmers Market Coalition and Market Umbrella Release Study of FMPP Grant Activities and Impacts The Farmers Market Coalition and Market Umbrella have released…

Ensure that hospitals invest in your local food system!

Jen O'Brien July 5, 2013

Did you know that it may be possible for your farmers market to partner with and receive funding from non-profit hospitals in your area? Charitable hospitals are required to spend a portion of their revenues to assist in the improvement of community health, in whatever manner they see fit. Now, as part of the Affordable…

Are You Eligible for a FREE EBT Machine From Your State?

Jen O'Brien May 31, 2013

In May of 2012, the USDA announced new grant funding through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 to increase SNAP access at farmers markets. $4 million was appropriated for the purchase or rental of a wireless device and related SNAP fees for markets.The purpose of the funds is to increase the availability…