Farm Freedom Group Defends Food Access in Maryland

fair farms maryland

By Betsy Nicholas

And you can too…

Fair Farms is a diverse group of farmers, restaurants, markets, nonprofits and public health organizations working together for healthy food, land, and waterways. One of our goals is ensuring access and availability of healthy foods in all parts of Maryland. Getting sustainably-grown foods from the farm to your family is important.

There are two bills working their way through the Maryland General Assembly that would help both farmers and families by increasing access to locally-sourced, farm-fresh foods. Fair Farms will be supporting these bills during the legislative session. We would like you to support them too. The two bills, described below, will make our communities stronger by incentivizing that healthy foods are available in all communities.

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The Maryland Farm and Families Act increases purchasing power for people receiving state benefits to eat healthy foods by creating a grant program through the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The program will support the “Maryland Money Market Program,” an initiative managed by the Maryland Farmers Market Association. It matches purchases made with federal nutrition benefits at participating farmers markets around the state. The bill uses incentives for farmers to get fresh fruits and vegetables, grown locally, into low-income communities. Please write your legislator and urge them to support legislation that promotes all things positive.

Take the Action!
The Food Donation Pilot Program provides farmers with a tax credit for donating leftover farmer’s market foods. This program would allow farmers in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties to give away their leftover foods at the end of the farmer’s market and receive a tax credit in return. Even better, there is a built-in incentive for producers to donate organic produce, since they receive a 75 percent credit for donating organic foods vs. a 50 percent credit for donating conventional items. Did you know that up to 40 percent of food is wasted in America? It’s time to do something about it!

Please take one moment out of your day to support Maryland farmers and the communities they serve by asking your legislators to pass these bills.

Thank you for your help!

For Fair Farms,

Betsy NicholasExecutive Director

Reprinted with permission of Fair Farms. © Copyright 2017 Fair Farms.

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