When: June 21, 2013
Where: MSU CAVS Extension Center
153 Mississippi Parkway
Canton, MS 39046
Time: 11:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Directions: Take Exit 118 off I-55 towards Nissan Parkway.
Take Nissan Parkway West (118-B).
Take the first left onto Mississippi Parkway, which is the street CAVS-E is on.
Agenda will follow
Lunch will be provided
Note that there are 3 positions on the MFPC board that are open for election after the June 21 meeting. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else, please email Tammy Meyer at email@example.com. You must be a member in order to run for office or vote. To be a member, you have to 1) submit your membership application; 2) be up to date on paying your membership dues; 3) have attended 2 of the last 4 MFPC general meetings.
The next Mississippi Food Policy Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10 at 1:30pm at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, 6311 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211
The agenda will be as follows:
Update from MDAC, Andy Prosser, Deputy Commissioner
- Oxford Program & other success stories
- Updates from around the state
- Senate Bill 2553 Cottage Food Bill
- House Bill 718 Farm-to-School Interagency Council Bill
- What are their resources?
- How can we maximize these resources?
Farm Service Agency
- Discussion on the new loan program
- The rules for this program.
- Who qualifies for this program?
Subcommittee and other reports
- Farm to School
- Farms Market EBT
- In-Home food processing
- Legislative Task Force
- Governance and Funding
- Survey of fruit and vegetable growers
- Harvard research on economic development
Over the past few years, many schools in Mississippi have become increasingly interested in serving fresh, locally grown products in school meals. To support these schools and their communities, we are pleased to announce the release today of anew guide: “Farm to School in Mississippi: A Step-by-Step Guide to Purchasing Mississippi Products.” This guide is launched this week to coincide with the first ever Mississippi Farm to School Week, which will be held annually the first week of October. The guide outlines the important steps schools can take to start purchasing locally grown products from Mississippi farmers while complying with state and federal regulations on school food procurement.
Over the past few years, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Harvard Mississippi Delta Project have worked closely with the MFPC, as well as farmers, schools, government agencies and other stakeholders in Mississippi to foster the creation of farm to school programs in the state. During the 2012 session of the Mississippi Legislature, the MFPC worked with Representative Toby Barker to draft and introduce two pieces of farm to school legislation: a farm to school bill and a farm to school resolution. The resolution, House Concurrent Resolution #112, was signed by the governor on May 3rd and establishes the first week of October each year as “Mississippi Farm to School Week.” The resolution encourages schools to incorporate at least one locally-grown food into schools meals. It also clarifies that farm to school initiatives are legal in Mississippi, demonstrates that the Legislature values using local farm produce in schools, and encourages schools to start initiatives.
After passage of this resolution, a team of Harvard law students from the Harvard Mississippi Delta Project and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic spent the spring semester researching farm to school programs across the country, interviewing school staff, farmers, and other stakeholders in Mississippi, and compiling useful resources to develop this purchasing guide. Farm to school programs promise to not only improve the nutritional quality of our children’s lunches, but support Mississippi farmers and the local economy.
Access the full guide here and let us know what you think in the comments.
The Mississippi Food Policy Council, along with Mississippi Department of Agriculture, Mississippi Department of Health, and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, are hosting a conference on November 14 to bring together Mississippians around finding ways to get more local produce into state schools and other institutions.
View our page here for more information: HFHP Conference.
Information on in registration will be coming soon!
Our next meeting will be held on Friday, July 20, 2012 in Jackson. This will be our Annual Meeting, so we will discuss updates and achievements of the MFPC from the past year and engage in some strategic planning for our next steps.
The details are:
Mississippi Food Policy Council
July 20, 2012, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
6311 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS
Please RSVP to Debbie Smith at: at 601-353-0845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
** MFPC gratefully thanks the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation for hosting this meeting and providing lunch!
Biz Roundup: Farmers Market Boost
by Elizabeth Waibel
May 8, 2012
A new Mississippi law this year allows cities and counties to now donate money to local farmers markets.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 535 into law late last month, giving county and city authorities the go-ahead to donate funds to their local farmers markets. The law applies to farmers markets within the city or county that are certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
The Mississippi Food Policy Council, which supported the bill, said farmers markets increase access to healthy food and keep money in the state. Roy Mitchell, who chairs MFPC, said he thinks some local governments will come through to support farmers markets despite already-tight budgets.
“I think communities recognize that investments in farmers markets are investments in your community,” he told theJackson Free Press. “… It’s a win-win–you’re stimulating the economy, and you have a healthier population.”
Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, sponsored the bill.
“With the signing of HB 535, local communities will be more empowered to take ownership of the health of their communities,” Barker said in a statement. “I hope and expect that we will see more local and certified farmers markets throughout the state.”
MDAC lists two certified farmers markets in the Jackson-metro area: the Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.) and the Livingston Farmers Market (Corner of Highway 463 and Highway 22, Madison).
To view the article, click here.
Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith, Representative Toby Barker, and the Mississippi Food Policy Council praised the passage Thursday of the House Concurrent Resolution 112 designating the first week in October 2012 as Farm to School Week in Mississippi. During Mississippi Farm to School Week, schools are encouraged to serve at least one locally grown food in school meals.
“Recognizing Farm to School Week provides a wonderful opportunity to not only bring attention to the variety of crops grown in Mississippi and the farmers that produce them, it also educates the younger generation on where their food comes from,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith. “We are looking forward to celebrating Farm to School Week, and we hope that others take time to recognize this week as well.”
The resolution, sponsored by Representative Toby Barker of Hattiesburg, was written based on the recommendations proposed by the Mississippi Food Policy Council during the meetings of the legislatively created Healthy Foods Advisory Committee in 2011.
“I’m excited about the potential of drawing the state’s attention to such an important program like Farm to School,” said Representative Toby Barker. “Putting emphasis on this valuable partnership between local produce and local schools can greatly benefit health and nutrition in our state.”
According to the Mississippi Food Policy Council, Mississippi’s children currently suffer from the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country, and many of those students do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Farm to School programs have been shown to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students and to be an effective way to teach children about nutrition, health, and the environment. Farm to School programs also keep food dollars in the state, which supports local farmers and the local economy.
“I applaud Representative Barker and the Mississippi legislature for investing in the health of our children and in the farmers of Mississippi,” said Roy Mitchell, chair of the Mississippi Food Policy Council. “The Mississippi Food Policy Council is looking forward to working with growers and schools around the state to make Mississippi’s first Farm to School Week a success.”