NH Food Access Coalition March 2021 Update

by: Tiffany Dodier

The NH Food Access Coalition was able to celebrate its first success in the month of February for its work to support passage of senate bill 98, relative to the SNAP incentive program, out of the NH Senate Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee with a 5-0 vote. This bill makes $150,000 of appropriations for the biennium ending June 30, 2023 to implement SNAP incentive programs. These programs give beneficiaries of SNAP 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.

Tiffany Dodier testified in support of SB98 on behalf of the NHPHA speaking about the health implications of food insecurity and, more specifically, access to nutritious food, that this bill would help to alleviate. The bill has since been referred to the Senate Finance Committee which has tabled it for the budgetary process. This was expected to occur due to the nature of this year being a budget year and the $150k of biennium appropriations being requested in this bill. As the budget process presses on, advocacy work is expected to be needed when the House and Senate meet to reconcile the budget.

As we push forward with our advocacy work, we have identified NH legislation to follow that is related to food insecurity. However, we will place our focus on legislation which our partners are involved in the legislative process in some way or feel strongly that we should be advocating for. In the interim, we turn our focus to both federal advocacy and learning more and helping to create education opportunities for our members on advocacy and messaging about hunger and food insecurity.

The next monthly meeting will be held March 24th, 10-11:30AM. If you are interested in attending this meeting, hearing more about the NH Food Access Coalition, and/or joining the NH FAC email group, please contact Tiffany Dodier at [email protected].

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