By Bernadette Barber – www.virginiafoodfreedom.org With the Christmas season upon us, many of us reflect on the poor and hungry. It is the Christ like thing to do. It is a charitable thing to do. If you are reading this, you probably own a computer and live in a warm home. Many Virginians don’t and they live in poverty with hunger at every turn. You can change that forever, not by giving money to the next food charity who asks for a donation, but by making one phone call, to your delegate and ask him or her to co-patron – HB1290 the Virginia Food Freedom Act. This bill will alleviate poverty and hunger. It will benefit the health of all. We need freedom.
Our most vulnerable are children of single mothers. Many single mothers have access to a kitchen, they are feeding themselves. Many of them would like the opportunity to make foods they can sell to their friends and neighbors, but the regulatory environment prevents it. Passage of HB1290 would change their lives overnight- and allow them to create a home-based business where they could still take care of their children and make a living.
The elderly are the next most vulnerable to poverty and hunger. Many of them have the knowledge and skills to make good healthful traditional foods. They can not only feed themselves, but feed their neighbors as well, taking a strike at poverty and hunger with one fell swoop. Many of them grew up with that freedom. Its time we gave it back to them. How empowering would that be to our senior citizens? We owe it to them. Ask yourself, would you like to be on the receiving end of charity or be in a position to care for yourself and others?
We can rebuild our communities- one bite at a time- by passing the Virginia Food Freedom Act. You may not know it but unless a government agent comes to your home, most foods are illegal to sell in VA. Especially that “Potentially Hazardous” Christmas favorite- Pumpkin Pie. Its time we change all that and light up our legislators phones like a Christmas tree…. Ask them to co-patron the Virginia Food Freedom Act HB1290. The most important representatives you have are the 22 members on the Agricultural Committee, especially the 8 on the Agricultural subcommittee- they have the power to kill the bill- they are the gate keepers. You can find a complete list of all the contact information here online and below. THEY are YOUR representatives regarding food and farm issues. It does not matter if your district representative is not on that board; those members serve the WHOLE state for food and farm issues. The list of the Agriculture committee is attached. The members on the subcommittee are written in bold, they need to be called first. The one with the asterisk , Tommy Wright, has already co-patroned the bill and needs thank you notes. He is up against Goliath for doing so, and we need to show him our support. Lets tell the state of VA, no more hunger games this Christmas, or any other Christmas. Lets pass house bill 1290
Delegate Name, Party affiliation, district number, e-mail address, capitol switchboard phone number, district phone number
Del. Ed Scott ( R) District 30 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698- 1030 540-825-6400
Del.Lee Ware (R)65 email@example.com 804-698-1065 804-598-6696
*Del. Thomas C. Wright (R)61 delTwright@house.virginia.gov 804-698-1061 434-696-3061
Del. Bobby Orrock (R)54 DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov 804-698-1054 or 540-891-1322
Del Danny Marshall R14 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1014 434-797-5861
DelCharles PoindexterR9 email@example.com 804-698-1009 540-576-2600
Del. Barry Knight R81 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1081 757-426-6387
Del. James Edmunds R60 delJedmunds@house.virginia.gov 804-698-1060 434-476-0077
Del. Tony Wilt (R) District 26 email@example.com 804-698-1026 or 540-437-1450
Del. Will Morefield (R) 3 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1003 or 276-345-4300
Del. Michael Webert R18 email@example.com 804-698-1018 or 540-999-8218
Del. Margaret Ransone R99 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1099 or 804-472-4181
Del.Matthew Fariss R59 email@example.com 804-698-1059 or 434-821-5929
Del. Jackson Miller R50 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1050 or 703-244-6172
Del. Robert Bloxom R100 email@example.com 804-698-1000 or 757-824-3456
Del. Kenneth Plum D36 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1036 or 703-758-9733
Del. David Bulova D37 email@example.com 804-698-1037 or 703-310-6752
Del. Mark Sickles D43 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1043 or 703-922- 6440
Del. Matthew James D80 email@example.com 804-698-1080 or 757-967-7583
Del. Luke Torian D52 firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-1052 or 703-785-2224
Del. Mark Keam D 35 email@example.com 804-698-1035 or 703-350-3911
Del. Alphonso Lopez (D) 49 delAlopez@house.virginia.gov 804-698-1049 or 571-336-2147
Bernadette Barber and her husband Gary own and operate Tall Trees Farm in the Northern Neck. They view themselves as stewards of God’s green earth and conduct their farm in that light. Following the design of creation their cattle graze in lust verdant pastures; their hogs roam freely in the woods; their chickens and turkeys chase bugs and aerate the soil. She picked up her love for farming from her father who beat leukemia with an organic garden.