Food Systems Spotlight: New Futures & Action Circles

Deneé Woods

And just like that, it’s February. Nearly two months of the year have already come and gone. We here at the Food Alliance feel like it’s a good time to check in with all our network partners, farmers, and foodpreneurs. How are you doing? Have you managed to make it through the days of minimal daylight? Are you dreaming about springtime as much as we are?

We hope you’re doing well and making the best of this New England winter. In our last blog, we spoke about one of our top priorities in the new year: education. As a result, we’ve decided to start a new blog series titled 'Food Systems Spotlight'! This series will highlight the organizations ,businesses, and people of New Hampshire who provide valuable support for those working in the local food system. We hope this series will help our readers connect with others whose work echoes the same goals and values as their own. 

This week's Food Systems Spotlight is going to focus on advocacy and how two organizations, New Futures and Action Circles, use it to make change in their communities. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, New Futures works to build a healthier New Hampshire through policy change. They utilize subject matter expertise, community engagement, and strategic communications to make change where it counts. Through education, advocacy, and collaboration, they are helping cultivate a local and statewide community where “public policies help keep New Hampshire a healthy state to live, work, and raise a family.”

As an organization focused on New Hampshire policy change, they’ve set their sights on a number of important issues that impact the health and wellness of our communities. Their work on health policy has tackled topics like Medicaid expansion, prescription drug price transparency, and single payer health care. In alcohol and drug policy, they work towards evidence-based policies around prevention, treatment, and recovery programs. They also back organizations such as the Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative (CBHC) and support policies that enable children to grow and develop healthily.

It goes without saying that this is an organization that knows how to make a difference with public policy. Their extensive experience makes them a valuable resource for those looking to shape New Hampshire’s food policy – and we are happy to make the introductions! New Futures will be one of our many partners present at the 2019 NH Food System Statewide Gathering on March 12th, where they will be featured during the breakout session “Developing the Network’s Capacity to Advance Collaborative Policy Platform,” the first of two sessions focused on advocacy and food policy. During this breakout, attendees will be introduced to the legislative process and resources for community engagement and strategic communications.

We’ll also be featuring other organizations at the Statewide Gathering that provide support for individuals and groups looking to organize and advocate. Action Circles, based in Vermont, will be leading an afternoon breakout session titled “Action Circles & Advocacy 101.” Action Circles serves as a resource for campaigns and organizations by providing teachings on their Model of Organizing, which helps to build strength, capacity, and success within a movement. Their model has already proven successful for droves of clients across Vermont and New England and gained testimonials from Common Good Vermont, Vermont Afterschool, Inc., and more.

If you’re interested in learning how to get involved in policy change or make your campaign effective and successful, both New Futures and Action Circles are great resources. Visit their websites to find out more information about opportunities like New Futures’ Advocacy Training or how to sign up for an Action Circles consultation. We also hope to offer additional advocacy and leadership trainings like these to our network partners later this year

Stay tuned for future posts about those working to grow and develop our New Hampshire food system! Also be sure to take a look at the Agenda & Workshops page to see all our breakout sessions being offered at the Statewide Gathering, and to register soon!


Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions for our next spotlight? Please email our Communications Coordinator, Samantha Cave, here.