AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills signed into law June 28 legislation to bolster hunger relief efforts and support local farms, was signed into law on Friday.
Authored by Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, the bill – LD 786, “An Act To Reduce Hunger and Promote Maine Agriculture,” would renew Mainers Feeding Mainers, which funds a partnership between local farms and food banks to reduce food insecurity.
The legislation directs the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to contract with a nonprofit, whose mission includes reducing food insecurity, in a statewide hunger relief effort. The amended bill allocates $1 million in funding to provide local grants, support the procurement of local foods and pay for operation and distribution expenses.
“The Mainers Feeding Mainers program presents a great opportunity to reduce hunger while supporting our local farms and food producers,” said Jackson. “It exemplifies how when Mainers come together, we can tackle some of our most pressing challenges. I’m grateful that the governor has signed this bill into law and look forward to seeing this program and our local farms continue to thrive.”
LD 786 received unanimous support in the Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, with hunger advocates and local farmers testifying in its support. The law will take effect Sept. 19.