54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Pete Campos









     WHEREAS, New Mexico has a vibrant food and farming culture that is significant to the rural economy and provides employment opportunities on farms; in direct, wholesale and retail outlets; and in food processing, distribution and value-added business; and

     WHEREAS, studies have shown that for every one dollar ($1.00) that goes to local agricultural producers, one dollar eighty cents ($1.80) is circulated in the local economy; and

     WHEREAS, if New Mexico consumers purchased only fifteen percent of their food from the state's farmers and ranchers, annual farm income would increase by three hundred ninety-two million dollars ($392,000,000); and

     WHEREAS, an investment in children's health will help stem the rise in childhood obesity in New Mexico, where thirty-two percent of children are overweight or obese; and

     WHEREAS, the 2017 "Map the Meal Gap" report from the national anti-hunger organization feeding America indicates that twenty-four percent of children, or one hundred twenty-five thousand two hundred ten children in New Mexico, are at risk for hunger; and

     WHEREAS, school nutrition programs provided through the national school lunch program, school breakfast program and summer foodservice program have provided millions of healthy and nutritious meals to school children throughout New Mexico for more than seventy years; and

     WHEREAS, school nutrition and summer meal programs serve healthy meals, free or at low cost, to students in New Mexico schools; and

     WHEREAS, school nutrition programs not only feed hungry children and support family well-being but also act as "economic stabilizers" during economic downturns; and

     WHEREAS, many children consume at least one-half of their daily calories at school, and for many children, food served at school is the only food they eat daily; and

     WHEREAS, increased investment from the legislature enables schools to feature New-Mexico-grown produce, meet federal nutrition requirements, serve more fresh fruits and vegetables to children and support economic development opportunities for local farmers, entrepreneurs and communities; and

     WHEREAS, over the last seven years, more than fifty-eight school food authorities have purchased New-Mexico-grown produce for school meals with state funds, enhancing the diets of three hundred thirty-three thousand three hundred students, promoting healthier lifestyles and increasing academic achievement, while close to two million dollars ($2,000,000) has benefited New Mexico's farming economy; and

     WHEREAS, seventy farmers' markets are providing New Mexico products to forty-five thousand people each week in thirty-two counties by direct sales and through the supplemental nutrition assistance program, the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children and the senior farmers' market nutrition program, creating fresh food access for low-income individuals and resulting in annual gross sales to farmers of close to eight million dollars ($8,000,000) in 2019; and

     WHEREAS, eighty double up food bucks outlets, including farmers' markets, grocery stores, farm stands and mobile markets, are making it more affordable for supplemental nutrition assistance program participants across the state to increase the amount of fresh, New-Mexico-grown produce they eat while providing nine hundred seventy New Mexico farmers with more than one million dollars ($1,000,000) in electronic benefits transfer sales during 2018; and

      WHEREAS, a healthier population will help save the state an additional three hundred twenty-four million dollars ($324,000,000) in obesity-related health care expenses and an additional one billion two hundred million dollars ($1,200,000,000) in diabetes-related health care expenses; and

     WHEREAS, creating food hubs, produce processing and distribution centers and community kitchens could accelerate the economic growth of farmers and rural food entrepreneurs; and

     WHEREAS, the growing number of New Mexico community and school gardens provides an important way for children and families to engage in growing food and provides a way for children to learn about nutrition and life sciences; and

     WHEREAS, to achieve these goals, agricultural-, health- and education-related organizations and agencies help coordinate programs and make connections among health, the built environment and policies through the support of organizations such as food policy councils, health councils, health equity partnerships, foodcorps, Americorps, 4-H, farm to school programs and others;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the state recognize that the time has come to invest in New Mexico's children, economy and future; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that February 6, 2020 be declared "New Mexico Food and Farms and School Nutrition Day" in the senate; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to the executive director of the New Mexico farmers' marketing association.

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