During 2018, Slow Food USA will continue to work towards a food chain that is for Good, Clean, and Fair for all. Not only does this include activism, like promoting school gardens and preserving traditional foods through the Ark of Taste, but also, through food and farm policy advocacy. Through both our national and local campaigns, and advocacy, we hope to engage our members in comprehensive food and farm change for the better, from farm to table.
If you’ve been keeping up with us in 2017, you’ll have seen our newly launched policy Food and Farm Policy Page and our Farm Bill 2018 priorities. To influence the decisions of government leaders in Washington, a committee of local Slow Food members from across the country, with the help of our like-minded allies, have developed “slow” Farm Bill priorities that translate our core values into calls for policy action.
As members of Slow Food, we all look to support the links in a universally good, clean, and fair food chain. From agricultural resource conservation to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and food chain equity, policy advocacy is crucial in supporting our goals. Below, we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you get involved.
1. Support a Food Policy Council
Food Policy Councils bring together various key members and stakeholders in the food system to develop strategies and initiatives to influence local and state level food chains. Through partnering with local organizations and engaging with community-based organizations, Food Policy Councils can serve to liaise and influence government organizations on food issues. For more information on Food Policy Councils, and to see if there is one in your community, click here for a Food Policy Council survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University in 2016.
2. Encourage your Senators and Representatives to Support our Policy Priorities
Organizations all over the country have developed policy agendas to inform members of congress about their concerns and to encourage them to support their priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. If you care about issues like increasing access to local foods in low-income communities or furthering support for urban agriculture, let your representatives know what matters to you and how you’d like to see our Slow Food USA values and policy priorities reflected in the 2018 Farm Bill. You can find your U.S. Senators and Representatives at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative and https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact
3. Align yourself with Key Policy Initiatives Stay informed on the work of organizations that support food and farm policies that impact you or issues that you care about. If you’re passionate about young farmers’ access to affordable farmland and credit and other support services or creating programs for socially and economically disadvantaged groups, align yourself with groups that share your passion and provide support where you can. Here is a list of just a few organizations that share our values.
• National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), http://sustainableagriculture.net/),
• American Farmland Trust (national and state/regional organizations), https://www.farmland.org/,
• Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), http://frac.org/,
• National Farm to School Network, http://www.farmtoschool.org/,
• National Young Farmers Coalition, http://www.youngfarmers.org/
• National Association of Farmer’s Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP), http://www.nafmnp.org/,
• Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), https://www.nrdc.org/about,
• Friends of the Earth, https://foe.org/,
• United Farm Workers (UFW), http://ufw.org/, and
• National Farm Worker Ministry, https://nfwm.org
In the coming months, we will keep you up-to-date on actions that you can take to impact policy change. Here at Slow Food USA, we hope to make policy and advocacy digestible and actionable for all our supporters. If you have questions or suggestions, contact Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed at email@example.com.