NH Food Access Coalition February 2021 Update

by Tiffany Dodier

The NH Food Access Coalition is full speed ahead with its efforts to increase access to nutritious affordable food for those most in need in NH. We already have a call to action for NHPHA members in sending letters of support for key legislation that will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants in NH.

At the coalition meeting in January, we tackled a long list of bills and LSRs identifying the highest priority bills we will be tracking, advocating, and testifying for. With that, the first public hearing is scheduled for SB98 relative to the SNAP incentive program at 9a.m., Wednesday, February 3, in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, a top-priority bill for the coalition. This bill makes $150,000 of appropriations for the biennium ending June 30, 2023, to implement SNAP incentive programs enabling beneficiaries of SNAP to receive a dollar-for-dollar match for fresh fruits and vegetables, at participating farmer's markets, farm stands, mobile markets, community supported agriculture sites, grocery stores, or other participating direct food retailers. If you are interested in writing a letter of support, please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

In other news, the coalition sent a letter and an infographic about hunger in NH to all legislators and Governor Sununu’s office in January. The letter included 24 logos from organizations across NH in support of five policy priorities identified by the coalition:

  • Increase participation in federal nutrition assistance programs.
  • Leverage hundreds of thousands of federal nutrition dollars by supporting state nutrition incentive programs.
  • Fund initiatives that increase access to locally produced food while supporting NH farm, fish, and food businesses.
  • Fully participate in all waivers for federal nutrition programs during the COVID crisis.
  • Support culturally appropriate communication and outreach to increase awareness of eligibility for nutrition assistance programs and ease the enrollment and certification processes.

As a follow-on to this letter, members of the coalition met with Governor Sununu’s office to talk about these priorities and will continue with efforts to build relationships with key legislators across the state. Our next coalition meeting is Wednesday, February 23, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. To receive updates from the NH Food Access Coalition, you can join the Google group or email [email protected].

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