The people who produce our food are facing a crisis unlike any they have ever seen, encountering new threats sparked by COVID-19 while they endure a multi-year slump in prices for their goods, volatile trade disputes, frequent natural disasters, and climate disruption.
Congress must act decisively to ensure that all farmers, ranchers, and fishers are included in any COVID-19 stimulus package, particularly small and mid-sized operations, limited resource producers, farms and boats operated by people of color, and tribal nations who have often fallen through the cracks of federal farm policy.
A stimulus package response to COVID-19 must:
- Center the small and mid-sized operations, limited resource producers, farms and boats operated by people of color, and tribal nations who are most impacted by systemic inequities of our food system
- Ensure a fair and safe livelihood for all farmers, ranchers, fishermen and all farm, fish, and food workers;
- Bolster local & regional food systems poised to feed communities
- Enact systemic reform to build resilience for all producers, workers, and eaters
- Ensure every person living in the United States has a dignified means of accessing nutritious food
The 21+ million members of our food system are ready to continue growing, raising, catching, processing, and delivering the healthy food we need. They are all essential workers. Without them, none of us will eat.
Join us and thousands of commercial fishermen from around the country, plus our partners at the National Family Farm Coalition, HEAL Food Alliance, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Farm Aid, and WhyHunger in taking action now to ensure Congress includes the essential people who produce our food in the federal COVID-19 response.
- Copy & paste the template letter
- Send to your elected official via email
Dear [Your Elected Official’s Name],
Thank you for your hard work during this crisis. While some of the proposed measures in the existing stimulus packages will help to boost the economy and provide some aid to households and industries, they fall short with respect to protections for food producers and workers.
A broad and diverse group of hundreds of community-based fishermen and women, seafood businesses, advocates, and food system groups put together a letter with several policy recommendations as well as a video of fishing community leaders from around the country.
In addition, several leading organizations, including Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), WhyHunger, Farm Aid, the HEAL Food Alliance, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) came together to offer broader policy recommendations for a stimulus package that supports the entire food system. Both letters call for measures to:
- Protect the livelihoods of food producers and workers
- Bolster local and regional food systems that are poised to feed communities
- Create systemic changes that build resilience of food producers, workers, and eaters
Unfortunately, the recent White House Executive Order undermines many of these recommendations by boosting industrial-scale aquaculture and export seafood markets at the expense of small and mid-scale fishing businesses. Here is a recent statement by NAMA on the Executive Order.
Thanks for your consideration and please let me know if you have any questions.
Your concerned constituent,