Food Matters 2014 Topics and Dates

Please mark your calendars for the Food Matters 2014 Community Conversation Series:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6 - 8 p.m.
“The Future of the Rhode Island Landfill:  What Will It Mean for Food Waste?”

Host, Krystal Noiseux, RI Resource Recovery Corporation
Burrillville Middle School, 2220 Broncos Highway, Harrisville, RI
Did you attend?  Take our survey & give us feedback! VISIT THE MARCH 2014 PAGE


May 28, 2014  6 - 8 p.m.
“How to Grow a Local Food System: RI-Based Food Businesses Share Their Stories”

Co-Hosts, Melina Packer, Chair RIFPC Thriving & Just Economy Work Group & Brian Goldberg, RISD

The Portfolio Cafe, RISD 15 Westminster, Providence, RI

September 24, 2014, 6- 8 p.m.

“From Ocean to Table in the Ocean State:  Connecting RI Fishers with RI Consumers”

Host, Ross Pearsall, Ocean State Fresh
The Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square, Newport

November 13, 2014, 6 - 8 p.m.
“Hungering for Healthy: Increasing Food Access Through Alternative Distribution”

Host, Kayla Ringelheim, Farm Fresh RI & Chair, RIFPC Access Work Group
Location: Hope & Main, 691 Main Street, Warren, RI


Call for Youth Delegates: Food Solutions New England Summit

FSNE-logo-rgb_0.jpegFor all RI youth (ages 19-29) interested in participating as a delegate in the June 12-13 Food Solutions New England Summit in Providence, open nominations are running now through April 21st.

New England Food Policy report released

The American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group have just released a new report:
New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System
Please visit to download the report.

RI Foundation Promotes Farm to Table on TV

From RI Small Business Journal article:
Rhode Island’s 1,200 farms still generate a healthy $65 million in sales, but an innovative new movement is hard at work turning Rhode Island into a national leader by adapting an old model – small, organic farms – to modern times.
To promote the farm-to-table industry, the Rhode Island Foundation is promoting the leaders of the movement in a PSA that local TV stations and cable providers are running.
See videos

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic releases Land-Linking report for RIFPC

The attached report - "Rhode Island Land-Linking Program: Background Research and Policy Analysis", is the first study completed under a partnership between the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the RIFPC.  The ongoing project involves Harvard Law students assisting the Council to research and better understand key policy issues affecting Rhode Island's food system.

RI State Releases Food Bid

The State of RI released a new Food Supply Master Price Agreement (food bid) this week.  2 items of note:
1. a local tracking provision has been included (Section 4.2 -Buy Local Requirements)
2. bid allows for perishables and non-perishables to be separated into different contracts, which could potentially allow for a perishable contract with a company that offers many local products (see Section 3: Background)

Call for Nominations: Food Solutions New England Summit in Providence

Food Solutions New England (FSNE), in collaboration with state partners, welcomes nominations for state delegates to participate in the 4th annual New England Food Summit.

The Summit will be held in Providence, Rhode Island, June 12-13, 2014 (details and agenda coming soon). This year's summit will include a focus on urban and metropolitan food system issues, as well as the central place of food justice and racial equity in food system sustainability.

Farm Bill passage and Rhode Island

All 4 members of the RI Congressional Delegation voted against passage of the just-reauthorized national Farm Bill. 
Attached find Senator Reed's statement outlining several provisions of the Farm Bill that he supported as well as his reasons for opposing it.

RIFPC Testimony on Minimum Wage Bills

Minimum Wage Bills – heard Tuesday, Feb 4th in House Committee on Labor:
House Bill No. 7056  BY  McLaughlin, Canario, McNamara
House Bill No. 7194  BY  Bennett, Hull, Shekarchi, Slater, McNamara

The current RI minimum wage is $8.00 per hour.  H7056  would raise the RI minimum wage to $9.00 beginning January 1, 2015.  H7194 increases minimum wage to $9 in 2015 and to $10 in 2016 and in subsequent years pegs increases in minimum wage to rate of inflation.

Both the RIFPC Access Working Group and the RIFPC Just Economy Working Group have identified increasing the RI minimum wage as a key issue.

Based on RIFPC retreat conversations about food insecurity in Rhode Island, the growing number of households in RI that are food insecure, the reduction in SNAP benefits and the growing number of people using Food Bank partner sites, the RIFPC Policy Committee states a position that the best way to ensure food security is to provide Rhode Islanders with living wages and good jobs.

RIFPC Testimony 2/4/2014


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