Vitelli local food law takes effect
A new law written by Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, which promotes the purchasing of local foods by Maine institutions, took effect last week.
The law establishes aggressive goals in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for the purchase and sale of local foods.
“Maine has a great track record with local food economies helping bolster our coastal and rural communities,” said Sen. Vitelli. “Through this new law, we can increase demand and encourage our food producers to make long-term investments in our vital farming and fishing industries, helping power our state for years to come.”
LD 1584 sets specific goals for increasing purchases of locally produced food by state institutions. It does so by charging the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry with establishing guidelines to help state institutions assess their ability to buy local foods while minimizing costs; and providing education and outreach to support farms, farmers’ markets, and community-supported agriculture and seafood providers. It also will expand access to local foods and farmers markets to SNAP beneficiaries and increase the amount of locally produced food served on University of Maine System campuses.
Sen. Vitelli was re-elected to serve Senate District 23 in the upcoming legislative session, which re-convenes on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.