Governor Newsom signed AB 1009, effectively establishing California’s first Farm to Community Food Hub Program to promote direct farm and ranch sales to local communities. Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica), AB 1009 will use the state’s $15,000,000 investment from this year’s budget to implement three food hubs throughout the state.
The farm to community food hubs created under this bill will allow public institutions to leverage their significant food budgets towards creating jobs and providing communities with access to local, climate-friendly, and equitably produced food. These institutions will be able to prioritize partnerships with farms and ranches that are cooperatively owned, operating on 500 acres or less, or owned by socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, veteran, or disabled farmers and ranchers. AB 1009 provides an opportunity to support disadvantaged local farming communities. This takes on even more importance as we recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic and accelerate climate adaptation and resilience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the unpredictability and loss of markets, which has had a disproportionate impact on California’s small-scale farmers — particularly historically underserved farmers of color. Food system reform increasingly calls for more regionalized food systems, which in turn provide greater resilience in times of natural disaster or public health emergency.
“California leads the nation in agricultural production, yet we still lag in development of regionalized food systems,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “By investing in local farming economies through the food hubs program, we are taking the necessary steps in ensuring our food supply systems remain stable through times of crisis.”
Supported by groups such as the California Association with Family Farmers, Ceres Community Project, So Cal Farm Network, and a host of existing community food hubs throughout California, AB 1009 becomes law on January 1, 2022.
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.
Melissa Kaufler, Blooms Office