HOUSE DEMOCRATS NEWS
A durable framework for addressing hunger, food insecurity, and agricultural stability in New Mexico cleared its first step in the House of Representatives today, passing the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee with a 6-3 vote.
Sponsored by Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Rep. Karen Bash (D-Albuquerque) and Sen. Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D-Cerrillos), House Bill 207 creates a Food, Hunger, and Farm Council, which will develop a comprehensive plan to expand and improve existing food and hunger programs, supporting food production within the state, promoting sustainable practices, and fostering job creation in the food and agricultural sector.
“New Mexico is facing a food and hunger crisis, with one in three children in our state facing food insecurity and the majority of our agricultural products being exported out of state,” said Rep. Stansbury. “House Bill 207 creates a comprehensive framework for addressing hunger and reconnecting our food system, that supports our farmers and ranchers while helping to ensure that we can get food to those in need.”
“So many people in our state rely on our food banks and their distribution systems. HB 207 will support and expand these programs, helping keep food on the tables of everyday New Mexicans,” said Rep. Ferrary. “The bill also works to bridge the current divide between hungry families and our farmers and ranchers, bringing together a council of experts and stakeholders to find tangible solutions that support the state’s agricultural sector in supplying quality, locally-grown and raised food to New Mexico’s families.”
“To address our state’s immediate needs, House Bill 207 will provide a first-year strategy with guidance for relevant agencies,” said Rep. Bash. “It will also take a long-term view and update recommendations each year, ultimately creating a holistic and sustainable plan for our state’s food systems and agricultural future.”
After passing the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, HB 207 will be heard next in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.