By supporting those who grow, produce, and sell our local food, we’re helping to foster a sustainable, resilient, and just food system. And a healthy and thriving local food system means a healthy environment, climate, and economy for all New Englanders.
The Legal Food Hub provides pro bono legal assistance by matching qualified attorneys in our network with…
Farmers and food businesses across New England overcame the pandemic, and they are ready to thrive.
When our national food system stumbled under the pandemic’s weight, New Englanders turned to our region’s farmers, food businesses, and farm and food organizations for help. New England’s farm and food leaders delivered. Farmers fed our communities and stewarded our working lands. Food businesses connected farmers to eaters, created jobs, and made our communities more vibrant. Nonprofits taught New Englanders how to grow their own food, improved food access, and established urban farms and gardens. Farmers, food businesses, and food nonprofits innovated and persisted. Their hard work inspires all of us at the Legal Food Hub, and we are proud to support them.
This year, we helped more than 90 farmers and food businesses get the legal help they need with the support of our network of pro bono attorneys. We published new legal guides on topics that ranged from agricultural employment law to nonprofit governance. We offered a winter webinar series that addressed participants’ most pressing legal concerns. And we delivered in-person trainings about farmland contamination, land access, and entity formation.
Shawn Menard of Seacoast Eat Local offered this reflection on the Legal Food Hub’s work: “It’s a real service. Sometimes you think ‘it’s too good to be true,’ but this is definitely not one of those things. At the end of the day, it is trying to make the food system better. Sometimes you have to acknowledge that you are not an expert at everything, and so take all the help you can get. We took the plunge, and I am glad we did.”
The pandemic showed us just how important our local food system is. As New England emerges from the pandemic, farmers, food businesses, and farm and food organizations continue their essential work. They are ready to thrive, and we look forward to providing the legal services and resources that they need for years to come.