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Community Food Security Coalition Policy Program

October 31, 2011
 
Call your Representative about the Community Agriculture Development and Jobs Act!
 
Approximately 80% of the U.S. population lives in metropolitan areas, and urban agriculture is an effective means to increase food security and provide access to fresh, affordable, nutritious food. Urban agriculture can also contribute to sustainability, economic and community development.
 
Earlier this month, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced a bill to advance community agricultural production in nontraditional communities, encourage local food production, and increase the availability of fresh food in underserved communities. The Community Agriculture Development and Jobs Act of 2011 (H.R. 3225) will create jobs by diversifying agricultural production in communities not traditionally associated with agriculture.
 
Why CFSC Supports H.R. 3225
In light of the importance you placed on fostering community-based agriculture in our Farm Bill listening sessions earlier this year, CFSC has endorsed the Community Agriculture Development and Jobs Act. Creating more opportunities for agriculture and gardening projects in urban areas can greatly increase food security and access to healthy, affordable food. CFSC’s Policy and Urban Agriculture committees welcome this bill as a comprehensive way to expand support for urban agriculture and address the root causes of so-called food deserts. If enacted, it will:
  • Establish an Office of Community Agriculture within USDA.
  • Create the Community Agriculture Outreach Program to provide grants to community organizations, municipalities, institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and local school districts to encourage the production of local foods.
  • Increase funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
  • Develop the Community Agriculture Research Initiative to conduct scientific research on the needs for promoting and enhancing agricultural production solely in nontraditional communities.
There are two ways you can help:

1) Call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 1-800-826-3688.

Provide your Representative’s name and you will be directly connected to their office. You can also get your Representative’s name and direct number by going to Congress.org and typing in your zip code. Once you are connected to your member’s office, tell them you are a constituent calling about the Community Agriculture Development and Jobs Act of 2011.
 
Here’s what your Representative needs to hear from you and many others.
“As an advocate for community food security, community economic development, and urban agriculture, I am urging Rep. __________ to co-sponsor the Community Agriculture Development and Jobs Act of 2011 introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Urban agriculture is an effective means to increase food security and provide access to fresh, affordable, nutritious food. [If you’re involved in community gardening or urban agriculture, tell a brief story about what’s going on in their district.] To strengthen federal support for community-based approaches to fight hunger and obesity while creating jobs, the Community Food Security Coalition and others have endorsed H.R. 3225. Can we count on Rep. __________’s support?”

If your Representative has questions, you may refer them to John Latini in Rep. Kaptur's office at 202-225-4146.

2) Get your organization to endorse the bill.
Encourage your organization to endorse the bill and show continued support by:
  • Forwarding this action alert to your members and other interested groups;
  • Urging your members to contact their Representative about the bill; and
  • Mentioning the bill at meetings and other events relating to community gardening and urban agriculture.
If your community organization, faith community, or other group does endorse, please send the full name of the group, the city and state, and the name of the contact person to aisha@foodsecurity.org.



Questions? Please contact CFSC Policy Office: 202-481-6933.

Thank you for your help!
Community Food Security Coalition
 
Community Food Security Coalition
110 Maryland Ave. NE Suite 108 Washington, DC 20002
 (202) 481-6933 | www.FoodSecurity.org

The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3), North American organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times. We seek to develop self-reliance among all communities in obtaining their food and to create a system of growing, manufacturing, processing, making available, and selling food that is regionally based and grounded in the principles of justice, democracy, and sustainability.

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