Concord, N.H. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, held a virtual discussion with leadership from the NH Food Alliance, UNH Extension, Warner Public Market, the Hanover Co-op, and Kearsarge Gore Farm about challenges and opportunities in developing a sustainable, resilient local food system, and how Congress can support their work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Rep. Kuster announced her reappointment to the House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for our food system, but it is not the only challenge we face,” said Rep. Kuster. “We also know that we must do a better job of addressing racial and economic equity in our food system, ensuring that all have access to healthy food and can participate in our food system as consumers, producers, and beyond. I’ve been so impressed by the ingenuity of our Granite State farmers and food stakeholders throughout this crisis, and I’m committed, through my role on the House Agriculture Committee, to bring their voices to Congress and to help foster creative solutions so that we can continue to grow a vibrant and healthy local food system.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of our food supply to global and national disruptions and exacerbated existing inequities in the food system,” said Erin Hale, Research and Network Coordinator for NH Food Alliance. “Our innovative and adaptable NH producers, harvesters, and food businesses have played a critical role in keeping food on our tables, but they need support to continue to grow and feed a greater share of our residents. Meanwhile, the economic downturn has substantially increased food insecurity in NH and underlined the importance of improving access to healthy food for everyone through federal nutrition programs – including those like Granite State Market Match that benefit both our food producers and people in need. We appreciate the continued support of Congressional Representatives Kuster and Pappas as they respond to COVID-19 and work to build a resilient, sustainable, and equitable food system here in NH.”
“At the Hanover Co-op Food Stores, we know the benefits of a strong farm economy come from hard work and cooperative partnerships here and in D.C.,” said Allan Reetz, Director of Public and Government Affairs for Hanover Co-op. “Long before the pandemic, the work of Congresswoman Kuster — and food producers across the Granite State — strengthened the foodshed we rely on now, and must build for the future.”
Rep. Kuster has been a consistent advocate for New Hampshire’s farmers and producers, bringing the voices of Granite Staters to Congress. In the 117th Congress, Kuster was reappointed to the House Agriculture Committee, which she served on for her first three terms in Congress. On the committee, Kuster helped advance critical legislation to bolster the Northern Border Regional Commission, strengthen the dairy safety net, support veteran farming and small organic farms, boost rural development, and protect nutrition assistance.
The full conversation can be viewed here.