It’s our annual membership drive May 15 – June 30 and you can help change the system! Everyone deserves wholesome food, fair practices, and healthy ecosystems. Together, we can make that a reality. Read on to learn how YOU can make a difference to farmers like Katie Bishop and to your community.
Week after week, Katie Bishop drives home from the Bloomington Farmers Market with crates of perfect vegetables and fruit destined for the compost pile.
Unsold produce won’t last until next Saturday’s farmers market, but red tape prevents her from using those unsold veggies and turning them into food she can sell.
When she left a good job with benefits at State Farm to farm full time, she knew it was a risk. She never imagined that she would throw away as much as 40% of the food she, her husband Hans, and their ten farmhands raise and harvest at PrairiErth Farm.
Then Katie saw an Illinois Stewardship Alliance Facebook post about the Illinois Food Freedom Act. The law could open up a whole new revenue stream for her farm.
Instead of tossing out unsold peppers and onions after the market, she could chop and freeze vegetables in a bag and sell it as crockpot chili mix. She could freeze ears of sweet corn at their ripest in the summer, and sell it in the depths of winter. And she wouldn’t have to wait in line to rent time at an expensive commercial kitchen miles away to chop and package it.
Katie sprang into action. She shared the Facebook post with her friends, family, and her customers. She encouraged people to sign postcards asking their state legislators to support the bill. She sent a farmhand to the Alliance’s Local Food Lobby Day in April with her father-in-law and farmer, Dave Bishop.
Folks like you signed postcards, emailed and called their state legislators. The Alliance worked behind the scenes, negotiating with public health stakeholders to write rules that work.
This month, the State House and Senate unanimously passed the Food Freedom Act. For four decades, Illinois Stewardship Alliance members have organized to change policies that help family farms like Katie’s survive.
Right now, it’s our Summer Membership Drive. Can we count on you to become an ISA member with a tax-deductible gift of $50 or more to build a food system that is good for eaters, good for growers, and good for our water and soil?
Illinois Stewardship Alliance is Katie Bishop. We are also chef Ryan Lewis, farmers Amy Randazzo and Chad Wallace, and DeKalb County Community Gardens founder, Dan Kenney, whose photos and testimonials are below. And it’s me, a busy working mom, and my husband David, doing our best to feed our two sons fresh, local food in a system that doesn’t always make it easy.
Your gift will cut red tape that holds back the local food movement.
Your gift will mobilize Alliance members, our supporters and allies across the state, to urge Governor Rauner to sign the Food Freedom Act and make it law.
Your gift will make the needs of Illinois family farms and sustainable agriculture front and center as the U.S. Congress debates the Federal Farm Bill next year.
Become an Illinois Stewardship Alliance member right now during our annual membership drive with a tax-deductible $50 contribution, or gift at any level. Your gift will help make the Food Freedom Act law and give farmers like Katie a shot at financial security, insuring that they continue to provide fresh, wholesome food to their surrounding communities.
Please join us for a Member Appreciation Summer Shindig on Sunday, June 25 at 4pm at Engrained Brewing, 1120 Lincolnshire Blvd in Springfield.