Today at the 2021 Winter Policy Conference of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, NASDA members unanimously adopted policy to emphasize the importance of ensuring all people in America have the dignity of being food secure.
The policy amendment asserts that NASDA is committed to addressing hunger and food insecurity with the goal of ending hunger in our nation.
“We are making a promise to continue upholding our duty to grow and enhance American agriculture to nourish people and communities,” NASDA President Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “State departments of agriculture and our farm families have a special role to play in feeding a hungry nation. With this policy, NASDA members will pursue eliminating food insecurity with renewed determination, recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened challenges to food access.”
The policy amendment also explains NASDA’s unique ability to solve these challenges, highlighting that state agriculture departments house many feeding and nutrition assistance programs while also serving as representatives of the producer community.
California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross and Maine Commissioner of Agriculture Amanda Beal sponsored the policy amendment.
NASDA President Quarles also announced the release of the new NASDA Food Security Toolkit designed to share successes of state food security programs and equip state agriculture departments with additional resources to fight hunger across the U.S.
“The vision for the toolkit began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the need for better food security is not a new issue,” Quarles said. “This platform to share successes will ignite the work of our commitment to end hunger in the United States.”
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.