Michigan Voices Campaign Elevates Good Food Constituency
By Patty Cantrell, Regional Food Solutions
Michigan has many voices in favor of healthy, green, fair and affordable food. They are rural, urban, rich, poor, and many more types, from farmer and eater to food service worker and health care professional.
This “good food constituency” is a relatively new thing in politics, crossing lines like race and class, which often divide rather than unite common interests. A new campaign underway in Michigan, however, is targeting exactly that challenge and that opportunity.
Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy kicked off earlier this spring as an effort to unite and elevate Michigan’s diverse and growing good food constituency. The campaign will provide on-the-ground organizing support to make sure Michigan voices are heard in the current federal Farm Bill process. It will also work with the Michigan Good Food initiative to help bring those voices to bear in state policy deliberations over Michigan Good Food Charter recommendations.
“We are working with organizations across Michigan’s many good food interests to bring our common agenda forward at this important time,” said Lindsey Scalera, grassroots organizer for Michigan Voices, which is a WK Kellogg Foundation-supported project of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Congress will likely finalize the Farm Bill sometime this year or early next. The Farm Bill sets a five-year federal funding course for a host of essential programs, from family food assistance to farm business development and soil and water conservation. Good food priorities in the Farm Bill mirror state-level priorities in the Michigan Good Food Charter.
By collaborating with the organizations supporting the Michigan Good Food initiative, including the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (formerly the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems), Michigan Voices hopes to help people in Michigan engage across policy levels—from federal to state—to support good food.
You can also keep in touch with Michigan Voices through their Facebook page.