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Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill

Updated January 31, 2023

Farm to School programming isn't just great for kids — it benefits farmers and communities too! Implementing farm to school activities teaches healthy eating habits, improves food security, and increases engagement from students, parents, educators, and the community. It also has an impact on economic development, reduces food waste, and contributes to a more sustainable food system. Read more about the benefits from the National Farm to School Network here.

House Bill 487-FN, the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program, was heard before the House Education Committee on January 24. On February 1, the House Education Committee will deliberate and hold a vote to determine if the bill is "ought to pass," "ought to pass as amended," "inexpedient to legislate," "refer to interim study," or "re-refer to Committee." Prior to the committee's vote, share your testimony of support with the legislators that sit on the House Education Committee. Browse through the list of legislators on the House Education Committee below and use their individual legislative emails to share with them why they should vote to pass House Bill 487-FN, the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program.

 

David Luneau, Hopkinton

dluneauNH@gmail.com

Art Ellison, Concord

art.ellison@leg.state.nh.us

Steve Woodcock, Center Conway

stevewoodcock.rep@gmail.com

Muriel Hall, Bow

muriel.hall@leg.state.nh.us

Peggy Balboni, Rye

peggy.balboni@leg.state.nh.us

Corinne Cascadden, Berlin

corinne.cascadden@leg.state.nh.us

Hope Damon, Sunapee

hope.damon@leg.state.nh.us

Rick Ladd, Haverhill

rick.ladd@leg.state.nh.us

Glenn Cordelli, Tuftonboro

glenn.cordelli@leg.state.nh.us

Oliver Ford, Chester

lynchford@comcast.net

Alicia Lekas, Hudson

rep.alicia.lekas@gmail.com

Mike Belcher, Wakefield

mike.belcher@leg.state.nh.us

Margaret Drye, Plainfield

margaret.drye@leg.state.nh.us

Valerie McDonnell, Salem

valerie.mcDonnell@leg.state.nh.us

Kristin Noble, Bedford

kristin.noble@leg.state.nh.us

Katy Peternel, Wolfeboro

katy.peternel@leg.state.nh.us

Arlene Quaratiello, Atkinson

arlene.quaratiello@leg.state.nh.us

Mel Myler, Contoocook

mel.myler@leg.state.nh.us

Patricia Cornell, Manchester

patricia.cornell@leg.state.nh.us

Linda Tanner, Georges Mills

reptanner@gmail.com

 

Below are some informational and impact talking points that you can use in emails to legislators on the House Education Committee. Use these talking points in addition to your own stories and anecdotes about the local food and the importance of having it available to New Hampshire's children in our schools.

INFORMATIONAL TALKING POINTS

  • The program will provide New Hampshire K-12 schools who participate in the National School Lunch Program a state reimbursement for purchases of New Hampshire grown and produced foods.

  • The program's reimbursement rate is $1 for every $3 spent, with a maximum reimbursement of $1200. Participating schools can maximize the reimbursement benefit by spending $3600 of their federal school lunch funds on New Hampshire grown and produced food to receive a $1200 reimbursement from the state.

  • New Hampshire grown foods that qualify for a reimbursement are: fruits, vegetables, proteins, maple syrup, cider, and dairy products. Fluid milk purchases do not qualify for reimbursement.

  • The program will be run by the NH Department of Education, Nutrition Services office.

 

IMPACT TALKING POINTS

The Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program will boost youth health and wellness, as well as agricultural viability, but will specifically:

  • Provide New Hampshire students access to fresher, nutrient dense local foods.

  • Annually inject $1.8mil federal and state funds directly into New Hampshire’s farm and food economy.

  • Educate New Hampshire students about the variety of fruits, vegetables, and other products grown and produced locally.

  • Provide new market opportunities for farmers and producers.

HB 487-FN will move through the legislature as follows:

  • House Education Committee hearing: January 24 at 9am in the Legislative Office Building Room 205-207 

  • House Education Committee vote: February 1 at 11:15am in the Legislative Office Building Room 205-207 

if passed, the bill will move to the House Finance Committee

  • House Finance Committee hearing: TBA

  • House Finance Committee vote: TBA

if passed, the bill will move to the full House of Representatives

  • House of Representatives hearing: TBA

More Ways You Can Support the Bill

LETTERS OF SUPPORT
The NH Farm to School Network has created both an individual and organizational sign on letter in support of HB 487-FN. All responses to the letters will be collated into an official letter and submitted to the House Education Committee, the House Finance Committee, and the full legislature throughout the legislative process of the bill.

INDIVIDUALS, SIGN ON HERE | ORGANIZATIONS, SIGN ON HERE

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
At any time during the legislative process, the NH Farm to School Network recommends reaching out to your legislators by email or by phone to let them know why you support the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program and why they should vote in favor of HB 487-FN. 

FIND YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES HERE | FIND YOUR SENATORS HERE

CONTACT THE COMMITTEE
During the legislative process, the bill will be heard by two committees: the House Education Committee and the House Finance Committee. Prior to the bill hearings in each committee, email the committee your testimony of support for the program and the bill.

Email the House Education Committee at HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us
Email the House Finance Committee at HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

Farm to School Reimbursement Policy.png

View/download the full infographic here.

FTS Reimbursement Policy Messaging Toolkit.png

View/download the toolkit here.

LFLS Bill Storybook Cover page.png

View/download the storybook here.

View/download the fact sheet here.

Farm to School in New Hampshire

149 schools in New Hampshire are participating in Farm to School programming, according to a 2019 USDA Farm to School Census.*​

76.5% serve local food

 

73.5% provide food, nutrition, or agricultural education

 

55% of those schools have edible gardens

Nearly 50% hold student field trips to farms, taste tests and cooking demos

*41 School Food Authorities (SFA) representing 172 schools responded to the survey. An SFA is the entity responsible for school food operations and may or may not correspond to the district.

FTS_cook.jpeg

Farm to School Legislation in Other States

Maine Local Foods Fund: Matches $1 for every $3 a school administrative unit pays for produce, value-added dairy, protein or minimally processed foods purchased directly from a farmer, farmers' cooperative, local food hub, local food processor or food service distributor in the State. Maximum state contribution of $5,000 per school administrative unit in fiscal year 2021-22 and subsequent years or $5,500 per school administrative unit if funding is received and the school administrative unit sends a food service employee to local foods training administered by the department under subsection 13.

Michigan’s 10 Cents a Meal Program: The State of Michigan matches funds spent by school districts and child-care centers, and sponsors up to 10 cents per meal for purchases of Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes. 

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