Even as we’re working to meet an immediate need for fresh, wholesome food today, we’re committed to working with others (like community members, business leaders, and elected officials) to raise awareness of the issues underpinning our work and to raise support for long term solutions to address wasted food, food insecurity, and the climate emergency.
We do this in a number of ways, such as:
- Listening to our stakeholders and learning from their perspectives;
- Lending our insights to important conversations;
- Connecting stakeholders to one another;
- Using our platform to elevate community members’ voices and experiences; and
- Reaching out, and encouraging others to reach out, to their elected officials to push for promising policy solutions at the intersection of wasted food, food insecurity, and the climate emergency.
Each year, we identify a handful of key actions around which we work to mobilize others. Collectively, these are known as our “Advocacy Priorities.” Some of them align directly and in obvious ways with the work we do every day, and others more broadly pave the way for a more just and sustainable food system and a healthy planet.
Our Advocacy Priorities this year include:
Implementing the objectives of the White House Conference on Hunger, Health & Nutrition:
Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Founder & CEO, Ashley Stanley, represented Lovin’ Spoonfuls at the Conference in 2022. Spoonfuls continues to work in partnership with local, regional, and national leaders to identify ways to apply the lessons learned at the Conference to our work here in Massachusetts – and to involve others in these efforts. Read more on the White House Strategy here.
Building support for legislation aimed at improving access to safe, nutritious, affordable, and culturally-relevant food including:
- An Act relative to the healthy incentives program (SD.85: State Sen. Anne Gobi / HD.185: State Reps. Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and Hannah Kane)
- An Act encouraging the donation of food to persons in need (SD.263: State Sen Jo Comerford / HD.223: State Rep. Hannah Kane)
- An Act strengthening our local food systems (SD.42: State Sen. Jo Comerford / HD.88: State Rep. Natalie Blais)
- An Act supporting the Commonwealth’s food system (HD.92: State Reps Dan Donahue and Pat Duffy)
- An Act relative to Universal School Meals (HD.603: State Rep. Andres Vargas / SD.261: State Sen. Sal DiDomenico)
- Action: This bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Education in February. You can reach out to this committee to express your support for this bill and to encourage them to hold a hearing on it during this legislative session. Right now (through the week of 5/22/23) the State Senate is debating the state’s budget, which includes an amendment to make funding for Universal Schools Meals permanent in Massachusetts. Reach out to your senator today to encourage them to support this budget amendment in next week’s debate! This would be a big win for the sustainability of Universal School Meals in Massachusetts and work to improve food access for Massachusetts children.
- Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act of 2023 (H.R. 1269, U.S. Congress, 118 U.S. Congress 1st Session, 2023)
Building support for legislation aimed at promoting food literacy and awareness of the problem of wasted food including:
- The addition of food waste education to the program goals of SNAP-Ed in the Nutrition Title of the 2023 Farm Bill
- An Act relative to food literacy (SD.310: Sen. Jason Lewis / HD.601: Reps. Andres Vargas and Mindy Domb)
- Action: This bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Education in February. You can reach out to this committee to express your support for this bill and to encourage them to hold a hearing on it during this legislative session. Right now (through the week of 5/22/23) the State Senate is debating the state’s budget. One amendment on the Senate’s draft budget (#87) is in line with the food literacy bill. The budget amendment would provide $1.25M to support professional development and coaching for teachers, and supporting state- and district-level coordinator roles. Reach out to your senator today to encourage them to support this budget amendment in next week’s debate!
Building support for legislation aimed at reducing the impact wasted food has on our planet including:
- Food Date Labeling Act of 2021 (H.R. 6167 / S.3324 117th U.S. Congress 1st Session., 2021)
- An Act decreasing food waste by standardizing the date labeling of food (HD.2205: Rep. Hannah Kane / SD.1390: Sen. Edward Kennedy)
- National Food Waste Reduction Act of 2021 (H.R. 3652, 117th U.S. Congress 1st Session, 2021).
- Municipal ordinances encouraging diversion of wasted food
In partnership with RecyclingWorks Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, working to support the implementation of the Massachusetts Organics Waste Ban:
The Ban helps divert good food away from landfills and encourages businesses to donate edible food. Learn more about the Organics Waste Ban.
Want to know when there are opportunities to speak up on these issues? Let us keep you informed!
Want to learn more about advocacy and food and/or environmental justice issues?
- Read the resources on our Speak Up page. Brush up on how a bill becomes a law, learn who your elected officials are and where they stand on issues you care about, and discover advocacy success stories.
- Follow Lovin’ Spoonfuls on social media. This is a great way to stay broadly informed.
- Explore Massachusetts Food System Collaborative or Project Bread to learn more about the food justice issues impacting the Commonwealth now.