Massachusetts Food System Collaborative honors Blais, Comerford

From right, state Sen. Jo Comerford; Kerry Shea, legislative aide to Rep. Hannah Kane; and Rep. Natalie Blais pose with Legislator of the Year awards at a Massachusetts Food System Collaborative forum on Dec. 8.

From right, state Sen. Jo Comerford; Kerry Shea, legislative aide to Rep. Hannah Kane; and Rep. Natalie Blais pose with Legislator of the Year awards at a Massachusetts Food System Collaborative forum on Dec. 8. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 12-20-2023 2:45 PM

State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Deerfield, were recently honored by the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative as Legislators of the Year, along with state Rep. Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury.

“Our commonwealth must invest in a resilient and sustainable local food system that serves all communities across Massachusetts equitably,” Comerford said in the statement. “I am honored to be recognized by the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, along with fierce colleagues — especially ... as farmers in our districts are receiving grants I fought for in partnership with Rep. Natalie Blais to help them repair and rebuild from this year’s frost, freeze and floods.”

“As a result of organizations like the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, there is a growing awareness of and support for an equitable, sustainable, resilient and connected local food system,” Blais said in a statement. “I am grateful for the partnership of Sen. Comerford in pushing for funding and legislation that supports the mission of this effective and expanding collaborative.”

The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative promotes, monitors and facilitates the implementation of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan, released in December 2015. The mission of the collaborative is to support collective action toward an equitable, sustainable and resilient local food system.

“Sen. Comerford and Rep. Blais are already champions for the local food system, and this past year they really stepped up in the aftermath of the natural disasters of the 2023 growing season to support local farmers,” the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative wrote in a statement about the Legislators of the Year. “Their advocacy led to the establishment of the natural disaster relief fund, which ... awarded $20 million directly to farmers. The collaborative is grateful for their partnership and service.”

Beacon of Justice award

Comerford was also recognized during a Dec. 13 Community Legal Aid luncheon as a 2023 Beacon of Justice. Comerford received this award from the Equal Justice Coalition, which drives statewide advocacy for Community Legal Aid.

“Access to powerful civil legal aid should not be out of reach for any individual in the commonwealth,” Comerford said in a statement. “I am humbled and honored to receive the Beacon of Justice award from the Equal Justice Coalition and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure access to necessary civil legal services for all in our district and across the commonwealth.”

Community Legal Aid provides free civil legal services to residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties. The mission of Community Legal Aid is to assist low-income and elderly individuals through civil legal services that helps to protect their rights, secures their access to basic necessities, and disputes any potentially harmful policies and practices.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

The slow spell of Negril, Jamaica: Scenes from an idyllic island getaway
Motorcyclist sustains non-life-threatening injuries in Ashfield crash
Greenfield resident tapped for Montague’s assistant town admin job
Crumpin-Fox Club wins Region 8 in Mass Golf Women’s Spring Cup
48th annual Bernardston Gas Engine Show expected to be biggest event yet
Montague lands $4.92M EPA grant to demolish Strathmore mill