Monday, April 4, 2016
STATE TRENDS IN LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS
In recent years, state legislatures have been active across a several policy areas: local food system approaches; farm-to-school programs; farmers’ markets; community gardens and urban agriculture; healthy grocery retail and food policy councils. Take for example farmers’ markets. There are now 8,394 farmers’ markets in the U.S. as compared to 1,755 in 1944. State policymakers have recognized farmers’ markets ability to provide access to healthy, local food options for low-income and food insecure populations. From 2012-2014, eight states passed legislation supporting or expanding the ability to use SNAP, WIC, and senior nutrition program benefits at farmers’ markets. In New York, the Governor’s FreshConnect Check Program provides incentive checks for SNAP consumers at farmers market and Veterans, Servicemembers and their immediate family members at Veteran’s Affairs Offices.
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 3/30/16, State Trends