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ACGA Political Education Committee & Funding Alert

TO: ACGA members and friends of community gardens.  
FROM:  Betsy Johnson, Garden Futures (Boston, MA) and ACGA Board
Last week the American Community Gardening Association board of directors
officially formed a political education/advocacy committee to have ACGA
membership be more active in creating awareness about community gardens and
their varied benefits with public officials.  More information to come
about this in the spring Multilogue, on our website, September conference,

Meanwhile, we have received the following request for action from the
Community Food Security Coalition. Please email (or send) copies of your
letters to me at betsyjohnson@mindspring.com. Also, please let me know if
you are from one of the key Congressional districts listed below and
willing to become active in the ACGA advocacy network (others also
encouraged to tell us of their interest)  Thanks, Betsy   P.S. Sorry for
cross postings, but this is important.

February 21, 2000

Contact your representatives to ensure appropriation for a new Anti-Hunger
& Food Security grants program.
The Administration's budget included a request to appropriate $5.25 million
in new funding to fight hunger and promote local food self-sufficiency.
It will create a competitive grants program for non-profit and faith-based
organizations to assist small and medium-sized producers to sell food
directly to local school districts and other large institutions; support
community gardens, community kitchens, and micro-enterprises; and increase
food recovery and gleaning efforts, among other programs. 

This program is different than the existing Community Food Projects program
(CFP). It provides twice as much yearly funding and supports a wider set of
activities than the food systems-based Community Food Project Program. 

Please write immediately. Your letters and calls should be received by
March 3. 

1. Check the list below to see if your representative or senator is on the
Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee. If they are, please write to them
directly. If they are not, write to them and ask them to contact either a
member on the subcommittee from your state or if there isn't one, the
ranking Democrat or Republican member on the Senate or House Agriculture
Appropriations subcommittee. 
2. If you don't have time to write, please call (or email) your
representative's office. 
3. E-mail us a copy (asfisher@aol.com) or from (www.foodsecurity.org) of
your letter or a note that you called, so we can keep track of efforts

Talking points for your calls and letters:

.   How your community would benefit from these funds and your experience
in this field.
.  This program will support family farmers as well as help low income 
individuals become more self-reliant.
.   It will help build the capacity of community groups to end hunger
rather than rely solely on government-based approaches.
.   It's a cost-effective investment in our communities' capacities to 
develop solutions to problems such as hunger and failing farms.
.   It differs from the Community Food Projects Program, which is narrowly
focused, by funding a wider set of activities. 
.   It will also supplement the Community Food Projects, which has 
consistently received 6 to 8 times more funding requests than available funds.
.   These funds are included in the budget for Cooperative State Research
Education and Education Service (CSREES).

Thank you if you've written in the past and for writing again immediately!

Address and Phone:
US Senate, Washington DC 20510
US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee:
AK  Ted Stevens (R)
CA  Dianne Feinstein (D)
IA  Tom Harkin (D)
IL  Richard Durbin (D)
KY  Mitch McConnell (R)
MO   Kit Bond (R)
MS  Thad Cochran (R)
MT  Conrad Burns (R)
ND  Byron Dorgan (D)
PA  Arlen Spector (R)
WA  Slade Gorton (R)
WI  Herb Kohl (D)
WV  Robert Byrd (D)

House Agriculture Appropriations
AR  Jay Dickey (R)
CA  Sam Farr (D)
CT  Rosa DeLauro (D)
FL  Allen Boyd (D)
FL  Bill Young (FL)
GA  Jack Kingston (R)
IA  Tom Latham (R)
MO  Jo Ann Emerson (R)
NM  Joe Skeen (R)
NY  Jim Walsh (R)
NY  Maurice Hinchey (D)
OH  Marcy Kaptur (D)
TX  Henry Bonilla (R)
WA  George Nethercutt (R)
WI  David Obey (D)

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