Views of aisle after aisle of empty shelves at grocery stores all over the nation during the pandemic made it abundantly clear how fragile our food supply system is. There is also the environmental impact of our food supply which must be taken into consideration. Locally produced, caught, or harvested food has a significantly lower environmental impact, is better equipped to address critical food deserts, increases local economies, and (because the time from farm or boat to table is reduced) the food itself retains a higher level of nutrients.
1 in 3 college students and up to 20% of children in our nation are food insecure. It is for this that I am committed to seeing that school meals for all students are free.
This is something that happened from the federal government during COVID-19, but the program is expiring. I support the Universal School Meals bill H.714 which plugs the gaps in addition to federal funding. We need to also make sure that local foods are promoted for the environmental impact as well as the impact on struggling Bay State producers.