Maine Food Policy News
#6 Mar 22, 2021
Published weekly with support from
an Elmina B. Sewall Foundation grant to Maine Farm to Institution
We urge you to consider viewing Committee work and submit testimony for Bills that are important to you. Here is info on participating in Committees.

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Key Bills with Committee Work Coming Up

Note: Each Bill listed now has 3 clickable links:
  • LD # link takes you to PDF fo Bill
  • Committee Names takes you to Committee Page
  • YouTube link takes you to present and past hearings

Abbreviations used for Committees:

Hunger and Student Hunger Bills

LD 636: An Act To Encourage the Purchase of Local Foods for Public Schools, sponsored by Sen. Eloise Vitelli, Hearing March 24, 10am before EDU Committee, EDU Youtube link

LD 655: An Act to Require at Least 30-minute Lunch Period for Public Schools, sponsored by Rep. Jan Dodge, Hearing March 24, 10am before EDU Committee EDU Youtube link

LD 691 An Act to Support Farms and Address Food Insecurity Due to Covid-19 sponsored by Rep. Bill Pluecker, Hearing March 24 before ACF Committee. This bill establishes the Fund To Address Food Insecurity and Provide Nutrition Incentives within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to provide incentives to federal food and nutrition assistance program participants for the purchase of locally grown fruits and vegetables and to support outreach for and administration of programs that offer nutrition incentives to participants of federal food and nutrition assistance programs. ACF Youtube link

LD 485  An Act To Continue Funding for Home-delivered Meals for Homebound Seniors and To Address Growing Demand sponsored by Sen Ned Claxton, hearing March 25, 9am before HHS Comm. HHS YouTube.

LD 262  An Act To Combat Hunger by Creating a Tax Credit of 10 Percent of Wholesale Market Prices up to $5,000 Annually for Businesses Engaged in Food Production for Donations of Food to Tax-exempt Organizations sponsored by Rep. Tiffany Roberts, Hearing Mar. 25 9am before Tax CommitteeThis bill provides an income tax credit for persons engaged in commercial agricultural production, commercial aqua-cultural production or commercial fishing for donations to a food bank, food kitchen or other tax-exempt organization that provides food to low-income individuals without charging a fee for the food or requiring any other type of compensation from the low-income individuals. The credit is equal to 10% of the wholesale market price of the donated products up to a maximum of $5,000.  Tax YouTube

LD 1046 An Act To Create an Income Tax Return Checkoff for Hunger Prevention  sponsored by Rep. Maureen Terry, Hearing Mar. 31 9am before Tax Committee This bill requires the inclusion of a check-off provision on Maine income tax forms for taxpayers who wish to contribute to support the emergency food assistance program. Tax YouTube.

Pesticide & Pollution Bills

LD 640   An Act To Ban Single-serving, Disposable Plastic Water Bottles sponsored by Rep Lori Gramlich, hearing March 22, 10am ENR Committee. This bill prohibits the sale, offering for sale and distribution for promotional purposes of uncarbonated, unflavored drinking water in containers of one liter or less that are made of plastic except during proclaimed a emergency. ENR Youtube link

LD 602  An Act To Prevent Pollution from Single-use Plastic Straws, Splash Sticks and Beverage Lid Plugs sponsored by Sen David Miramant,hearing March 24, 10am ENR Committee.  This bill prohibits the manufacture and the sale and distribution, at retail or wholesale, of single-use drinking straws, splash sticks and beverage lid plugs made wholly or partly of plastic and prohibits food establishments and eating establishments from providing such items to customers at a point of sale ENR Youtube link

LD 226  An Act To Limit the Use of Hydrofluorocarbons To Fight Climate Change sponsored by Rep. Ralph Tucker, hearing March 24, 10am ENR Committee This bill prohibits the sale, lease, rent, installation, use or entering into commerce of any product or equipment that uses or will use a substance that is a hydrofluorocarbon with high global warming potential intended for any air conditioning, refrigeration, foam or aerosol propellant end use, ENR Youtube link

LD 558: Resolve, Directing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry To Study Alternative Cropping Systems for Farmers Affected by Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Contamination,  sponsored by Rep Bill Pluecker, hearing, March 25, at 9:00 a.m. before ACF Committee

Federal Food and Agriculture Bills

Rep. Pingree and others introduced The Strengthening Local Processing Act will increase options for local livestock and poultry producers and assist smaller facilities as they adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and expand to meet consumer demand. See the 2/23 Press Release for more information.

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) introduced the Local and Regional Farmer and Market Support Act (H.R. 8096), and it will help meet the needs of farmers who've been left out during the pandemic. Here are THREE big reasons to support this bill:
  • It offers direct support for producers selling into local and regional markets based on the losses they've experienced. 
  • It prioritizes funding for BIPOC farmers and low-income communities of color and includes robust outreach, technical assistance, and data collection to ensure that aid is distributed equitably. 
  • It provides emergency response grants for farmers markets and local food enterprises to allow those operations to adapt to new market conditions, implement public health and safety protections, and further support communities experiencing food insecurity.

USDA AMS has set up a listening session for stakeholders to provide feedback on implementing the additional funding for food purchases and distribution. There is also an opportunity to submit written comments. Here are the details: March 22, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET Register in advance for this webinar.


Farm-Based Education Network
3-4:30pm, April 1, 15, and 29, 2021

Hosted by Food Tank
April 28, 2021
Editor's Note:
With over 1000 Bills now being published, including over 100 related to food, environment, climate and equity issues, finding, tracking and providing support for advocacy actions is becoming much more complex. So, we will be publishing the Maine Food Policy website this week that will help you find much more information topic by topic to supplement this news. will be live on March 24th.
For more information, contact Ken Morse, Coordinator of the Maine Food Policy Work Group