Below please find published press releases and statements.
Proposed Farm to School Laws Continue Move Forward in Louisiana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Yesterday, the Louisiana House Agriculture Committee moved a Farm to School bill forward that could bring more fresh local food to schools, by allowing them to directly connect with farmers, and sets up a database of farmers and schools interested in participating in such a program.
HB 730 would increase the “small purchase threshold,” which is the maximum amount of money schools can spend on a contract to buy food items, without having to engage in a lengthy and complicated formal public bidding process with potential food providers. In Louisiana, the threshold is up to $30,000, so most school food purchases require formal bidding, and this often prevents smaller-scale farmers from selling to schools. Additionally, the bill creates a database so that farms and schools able and willing to participate in such programs can identify one another and easily make contact.
“Raising the small purchase threshold to the federal amount, now $150,000, is good for our children, farmers and the state economy; establishing a database is critical to facilitate the program”, said Katie Mularz, Executive Director of the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Ebony Woodruff, is supported by many and was crafted with assistance from Loyola University of New Orleans, School of Law students, the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance and the Recirculating Farms Coalition.
Representative Woodruff said, “I am thrilled to be working with so many colleagues, groups and individuals in promoting Farm to School programs in Louisiana.”
Marianne Cufone, the Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition noted, “This bill is an important way to support farmers in Louisiana.”
According to the LSU Agricultural Center, Louisiana farming operations are some of the poorest in the U.S. One problem is that about a third of farm food goes to waste in Louisiana, which for fruits and vegetables translates to over forty million dollars in losses.
“Making new markets, schools, for Louisiana farmers, can help reduce waste of good food, and put it to very good use – feeding our children.” Cufone said.
Over sixty-eight percent of Louisiana public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. If more fresh food is served in Louisiana schools, it can reach a majority of public school children.
HB 730 comes on the heels of SB 184, a bill with a similar focus, introduced by Sen. Francis Thompson. SB 184 passed through the Senate Education Committee unanimously two weeks ago. Both will now move through the full House and Senate respectively.
“Louisiana is ready to join 44 other states and the District of Columbia in championing the Farm to School movement.” Woodruff concluded.
Other Releases and Statements:
May 1, 2015 – Farm to School Law Moves Forward in Louisiana – Louisiana
April 22, 2015 – For Earth Day, Innovative Farming Group Announces Series of Free “Sustainable Farming” Classes National
April 1, 2015 – Gulf Fisheries Plan for Menhaden Fails to Address Critical Issues – Gulf of Mexico
February 2, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Awarded Grant to Train and Mentor New and Beginning Farmers; USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden Makes Announcement in New Orleans – National
February 5, 2014 – Statement of Executive Director, Marianne Cufone, on Congress Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill - National
November 6, 2013 – City of New Orleans Celebrates Groundbreaking of Innovative Urban Farm – Growing local NOLA - National
October 29, 2013 – Statement of Executive Director Marianne Cufone, Recirculating Farms Coalition on 9th Circuit Appellate Decision - National
August 13, 2013 – Backyard Gardeners Network, Recirculating Farms Coalition Host Community Day In Lower 9th Ward – Louisiana
February 8, 2013 - Open Ocean Aquaculture Would Harm the Gulf of Mexico: Statement by Marianne Cufone – National
October 22, 2012 – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Announces Partnership to Build Growing Local NOLA – National
September 24, 2012 – Unique Training Program Will Support New and Beginning Urban Farmers - National
August 23, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition, New Orleans Food & Farm Network to Build Innovative Urban Food and Farm Center – National
August 8, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help Florida Families Eat Healthy During Tough Economy – Florida
July 16, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Urges Congress to Improve Farm Bill – National
June 1, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help New Orleans Eat Local – Louisiana
April 20, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Creates First Interactive Map Of U.S. Commercial Water Farms – Helps Consumers Find Fresh Local Food To Celebrate Earth Day – National
February 9, 2012 – AMPS Builds New Orleans’ 1st “Aeroponic” Recirculating Farm, Demonstrates Sustainable Urban Agriculture – National
October 3, 2011 – New Orleans “Worst food desert in U.S.” and “Best City in America for Foodies” – Louisiana
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – National
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – California
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Louisiana
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – New York
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Texas
September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Wisconsi