GleaningNH Gleans Provides Farm Fresh Food Security
 
Did you know that 26% of New Hampshire school age children were eligible for free or reduced lunch during the 2017-2018 school year ( NH DOE), that 10% of the state population - 1 in 10 - is food insecure (that's roughly 130,000 adults), and that 11% of New Hampshire children are living in food insecure environments ( NH Food Bank, 2017)?
 
Luckily, programs like NH Gleans, in collaboration with NOFA-NH and others are working to get our state's local bounty of farm fresh food into the hands of those who need it most.
 
What is NH Gleans?
NH Gleans is a network of organizations working to increase the availability of fresh and local produce distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens, community suppers and schools throughout New Hampshire. Gleaning Coordinators harvest food from farms and farmers markets that would otherwise go undistributed or unsold, and donate that food to partnering community organizations.
 
Since 2013, NH Gleans has operated with funds from the NH Charitable Foundation and the cooperation of the following key partners: NOFA-NH, Seacoast Eat Local, Community Kitchen in Keene, and the Merrimack, Belknap, and Hillsborough County Conservation Districts. Gleaning coordinators with each partnering organization rescue food from around the state, collaborating with over 85 social service partners to donate that food to people in need.
 
NOFA-NH's Gleaning Coordinator, Kelsey MacDonald, works in the Seacoast where she gleaned 17,620 pounds of food in 2017.







GMOLabeling What's Next with Federal GMO Labeling
Thank you to all who commented on the proposed Federal GMO Labeling rule before July 3rd. Here's what's coming up since the comment period closed.
 
The USDA is currently reviewing the over 14,000 comments it received on the proposed regulations  released in response to a 2016 GMO disclosure law under the Obama administration. The rule currently gives food companies 3 options for labeling products containing genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMOs: a one-sentence declaration, an icon like the USDA Organic label, or a digital marker such as a QR code that leads shoppers to a website for more information.
 
GMO labeling advocates believe that the proposed labels, such as QR codes and icons that look like smiling happy faces bearing the letters BE (for Bio-engineered), aren't transparent enough, and  could even be misleading .

But what has caught the attention of Nestl é , Hershey's, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), is the stipulation that products with GMO ingredients that have been refined should not have to wear the label.

"GMA, Nestl√© and Hershey all said they want the labeling in order to provide consumers with the clearest transparency about what is in their food.  According to GMA , about 90% of the nation's corn, soybean and sugar beet crops are genetically modified. If the products using refined versions of those crops do not have to be labeled as GMO, GMA estimates there will be 78% fewer products being disclosed under the federal law," wrote Megan Poinski for FoodDive .

The three companies commented on the proposed rule before the July 3rd deadline, each to say that allowing refined ingredients to skirt the label will only serve to further erode consumer trust in brands, policy and the food industry at large.

The USDA will also decide whether foods produced with modern gene-editing techniques like CRISPR will bear the BE label. An article in Food Navigator USA by Elaine Watson addresses another question mark: that the present rule does not define 'non-bioengineered,' which some see as a potential loophole for companies to exploit by claiming their product or ingredients are non-BE (or non-GMO).

The rule is meant to be finalized by July 29th, a deadline set by Congress when it passed the disclosure law in 2016, but will likely take longer.
FarmBillUpdateFarm Bill Update

Since our last issue in June, a version of the farm bill has passed in both houses of Congress.

Now, the Senate and House versions of the bill are going to conference committee, which is typically made up of the senior members of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees, where their differences will be reconciled.

What remains largely contested between party lines is the status of SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps. A version of the bill passed by the House included work requirements for SNAP recipients that did not pass in the Senate's version.

SNAP makes up 75% of Farm Bill spending, leaving 25% for all other programs, so any changes to SNAP can have a large impact on both the entire farming community and low-income populations who depend on the program. As it is, many recipients will no longer be able to redeem their SNAP benefits at over 1700 farmers markets across the country. This is because the software company that processes 40% of mobile SNAP transactions at farmers markets is shutting down its service at the end of this month, leaving many markets with no immediate alternative. You can read more about that issue here.

Another item to keep an eye on is the potential opportunity posed by the Senate version of the bill to legalize hemp, removing the plant from the federal list of controlled substances and opening this long shunned crop up for legal production nationally.

The existing farm bill is set to expire in October.
RealOrganicProjectLabelsReal Organic Project Labels Will Pilot This Summer

The Real Organic Project, an organization with the mission of educating consumers about traditional organic values like growing crops in soil and pasture raising livestock, is coming out with a label this summer, the New York Post reports . The new label will launch as a pilot program on 20 - 60 organic farms across the country and will be certified by an inspector.

The Real Organic Project emerged over the last few years out of the campaign "Keep the Soil in Organic," leading up to the National Organic Program's vote last fall to allow hydroponics, aquaponics, and CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) to be labeled Certified Organic by the USDA. NOFA-NH hosted a "Keep the Soil in Organic" rally last fall in Hanover, NH, with the help of the Real Organic Project and NOFA-VT. It was one of dozens of rallies that took place globally.

At our 2018 Winter Conference we hosted a panel on this issue with farmers and activists, Dave Chapman, Roger Noonan, and Michael Phillips. Watch our video of the panel and visit the Real Organic Project's website to learn more.
NOFAsSummerConferenceNOFA's Summer Conference is Right Around the Corner!
When: August 10 - 12, 2018
Where: Hampshire College, Amherst, MA


Wow, NOFA's Summer Conference is only a month away! This year's conference will feature over 100 workshops, keynotes by Rowen White and Eric Holt-Gimenez, intensives on prison food justice programs, seed sovereignty, homesteading, food preservation, plus a children's conference and lots more.


And don't forget - NOFA-NH members receive a discount on conference registration. Renew your NOFA-NH membership or join our community today!
JoinNOFAsQAQCJoin NOFA-NH's Quality Assurance Committee!

We're looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our Quality Assurance Quality Control Committee (QAQC), a part of our fun and dynamic volunteer Board of Directors.
 
The purpose of the QAQC is t o ensure continuity of quality and best practices through sound eval uation of NOFA-NH products, services,  programs  and personnel,  including outcomes, goals, data analysis and  resulting adjustments.  
 
This Committee:
  • Makes recommendation to NOFA-NH Board and staff about programs and services.
  • Evaluates current products, services, and programs.
  • Interfaces with NOFA-NH employees to solve problems and answer questions.
  • Conducts employee annual reviews.
Membership of QAQC  is open to all members of NOFA-NH. Volunteers work directly with the Committee Chair, Steve Forde, a member of NOFA-NH's Board of Directors.
 
We are currently seeking two volunteers to join this committee.
 
Are you dedicated to supporting the local and organic food movement?  Passionate about building and sustaining healthy communities?   Interested in working with NOFA-NH to bring about positive and lasting change to our food system?
 
If so, please get in touch! C ontact Nikki Kolb at info@nofanh.org 
or call (603) 224-5022 to inquire.
 
We know that life is busy and your time is valuable, so we promise not to waste it.
 
Learn more about our Board of Directors and Staff here.

MeetOurMembersMeet Our Members!
Introducing Clai Lasher-Sommers and Grace Glasson
of New Dawn Farm

NOFA-NH's knowledgeable and passionate members make our organization great. Each month, we'll make our community a little closer by introducing you to one of our invaluable members.
Name and Occupation:  Clai Lasher-Sommers, Owner and Co-Farmer; Grace Glasson, Co-Farmer

Business Name:   New Dawn Farm
 
How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH?  Since spring of this year.
 
Why did you become a member of NOFA-NH?  We became a member to access a broader community of farm folks and their various expertise. 
 
How has NOFA-NH impacted your business?  We don't think it's particularly impacted our customer base [yet], but it's given us another place to ask questions or reach out to people when something has gone amiss in our fields.
 
What's your number one priority for NOFA-NH this year?  Having a few different women-focused and/or queer-focused workshops at the next conference would be really helpful. There are many different kinds of people who farm in this state and it would be great to see them represented!
 
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a NOFA-NH member?  It's worth it! And definitely make sure you attend the conferences - it's a great opportunity to meet, mingle, and learn with other farm folks in the state.


About this column:  NOFA-NH members with farms and farm related businesses are eligible to be featured in this column. Featured members are chosen by random lottery.  Click here  to become a member or renew your membership.
NOFAStoreVisit Our Online Store

Our online store is stocked with NOFA-NH bumper stickers and metal membership signs (great for your farmers market table, store, farm or farm stand!), as well as NOFA books on organic farming.


SupportNOFANHYour Support Matters! Help NOFA-NH Thrive

NOFA-NH uses every cent of your donations on programs like providing CSA shares from local farms to low-income families, educating consumers and organic producers, and maintaining our website as an educational clearinghouse to support our network of growers, gardeners & more.



NewMembersWelcome New & Returning Members!

Thank you to our new and renewing members in June and July 2018!

BecomeAMemberRenew Your Membership, Join Today, or Give the Gift of NOFA-NH Membership!

We've streamlined to just two membership levels:
  • Student/Senior Membership: $30 (Available to full-time students currently enrolled in school and persons over 65 years old)
  • Standard Membership: $45 (Available to everyone)

Check out a list of member benefits on the membership page of our website.

 

A NOFA-NH Membership makes a great gift all year round! Call our office to purchase the gift of organic for your loved ones: 603-224-5022.
 

Current memberships  will continue for one year from the date you joined.

 

ClassifiedsClassifieds

Attend the Greater Nashua Food Council Summer Meeting: 
July 19, 2019
The Greater Nashua Food Council is committed to making healthy, local food more accessible. Working together, we can all contribute more effectively to the evolution of a resilient local food system, one that nurtures the health of people, the local economy, and the planet at large. Join us!  More Details here.

Wanted To Buy: 1-3 Acres 20 Miles of Antrim // Bear Tree Zendo, a local Zen group, needs a small piece of land (one to three acres) within twenty miles of Antrim to build a small local meditation hall (zendo). Woods, field, old pasture, going back to trees, etc. Quiet essential. Continued use arrangement, hay or sugaring possible. Call 603-748-5006 and leave a message.


About This Section:  NOFA-NH Members may post 1 free Classified per month on our  Classifieds page  and in this newsletter. Not yet members may post a Classified in the e-news and on our website for $45 per Classified per month. To inquire about this program and to share your Classified with our community, please contact info@nofanh.org.

Events QQ


Livestock Field Day at Schroeder Farm
Saturday, July 14
Newbury, NH

NOP Seeks Input on Upcoming Enforcement Rulemaking
Tuesday, July 17
Webinar

Greater Nashua Food Council Meeting
Thursday, July 19
Nashua, NH

Wild Edible Foraging Slideshow Discussion with Russ Cohen
Friday, July 20
Dorchester, NH

Draft Horse Workshop
Saturday, July 21
Lee, NH

NH Eat Local Month Webinar
Wednesday, July 25
Webinar

Burger Night at Brookford Farm
Friday, July 27
Canterbury, NH

Draft Horse Workshop
Saturday, July 28
Lee, NH

NH Eat Local Month
August 1 - 31
New Hampshire

US Food Sovereignty Alliance Regional Assembly
August 9 - 10
Amherst, MA

NOFA Summer Conference
August 10 - 12
Amherst, MA


What's happening in neighboring states?
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NOFA-NH
Office Hours: Mon - Thurs 10am-5pm
Phone: (603) 224-5022       Email: info@nofanh.org
NOFA-NH E-News Written & Produced by Nikki Kolb

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