Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Food & Agriculture

food waste press conference

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Congresswoman Pingree has introduced comprehensive legislation to build on the success of local and regional food economies by helping farmers tap into growing markets and helping consumers access healthy food. Learn more about HR 3941, the Local FARMS Act here. 

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is a national leader on food policy, including issues involving local food, food waste, and organic agriculture.
She currently serves on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees federal funding for the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. 

As Congress prepares to work on the next Farm Bill, Congresswoman Pingree is introducing legislation to support local and regional food systems, increase funding for organic research, standardize food date labels, and reduce food waste across the food chain.   

During the last Farm Bill, Congresswoman Pingree served on the House Agriculture Committee. After years of work, the President signed a 2014 Farm Bill containing many of the reforms proposed in her Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act.  These reforms take important steps to support local farmers, invest in regional food systems, and give all consumers better access to nutritious food that benefits the local economy.  

Among others, her victories include: 

  • Making it easier to use SNAP benefits to purchase local food
  • More funding to promote farmers markets and farm stand, assist farmers seeking organic certification, and make local value-added products.
  • Reforming federal insurance programs that work better to protect organic and diversified farms​

But there is more work to be done to turn the nation's food policy right side up. Visit here for updates on her work to make our food system work better for the environment, people, and the economy.  

More on Food & Agriculture

Jul 16, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that two farms in her District will receive USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grants to expand their businesses and launch new product lines. Pingree has been steadfast in her opposition to proposed cuts to this vital program, which has a track record of helping rural businesses succeed and hire more workers.

Jul 11, 2018 Press Release
The Congressional Hunger Center tonight honored Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) with the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award for her efforts to provide people facing food insecurity with access to nutritious food.
Jun 21, 2018 Press Release

 WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) released the following statement after the House narrowly passed Farm Bill legislation in a 213-211 vote today:

Jun 19, 2018 Press Release
Congresswoman Pingree has openly pushed the agency to change the requirement
Jun 8, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C.—A number of agriculture reforms to support local food and organic farming written by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and mirrored in Senate companion legislation, have been included in the Senate Farm Bill released today. 

May 30, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) welcomed over $65,000 in USDA Rural Development funds to help farms and other rural businesses in Bowdoinham, Cumberland and Freeport cuts costs through renewable power systems. During recent debate on the House’s failed Farm Bill, Pingree had advocated for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) that provides the grants—the legislation would have eliminated mandatory funding for the program. 

May 24, 2018 Press Release
Engine, a nonprofit organization in Biddeford, will receive technical support from Local Food, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative that that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life as they develop the local food economy.
May 18, 2018 Press Release
“I’m glad this partisan legislation did not pass. It would have taken food assistance away from millions of Americans, weakened environmental stewardship of the nation’s farmlands, and left Maine farmers and rural communities ill-prepared for the challenges and the opportunities of the next five years. ..."
May 8, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, as well as her colleague Congressman David Young (R-IA) and stakeholders, for a roundtable discussion on the issue of food waste.  

Apr 30, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Congressman David Young (R-IA) launched a bipartisan House Food Waste Caucus to explore opportunities to reduce food waste.
Last Friday was “Stop Food Waste Day,” an international day of action to address food waste.  It is estimated that 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste.  A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service study found that U.S. consumers waste almost one pound of food per person per day.