About: Farm Fresh Rhode Island is a non-profit 501(c)3 founded in 2004. The organization’s mission is to grow a local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life for farmers and eaters of Rhode Island. Goals include, preserving Rhode Island farmland, building healthier communities, strengthening RI community-based businesses, increasing access to fresh food, and improving the impact of food production and distribution on the environment. Their programming ranges across areas, from access, to education, and distribution, and includes: farmers markets, market mobile produce aggregator and distribution system, Harvest Kitchen providing training and employment for youth from DCYF’s Juvenile Justice Corrections Services, bonus bucks SNAP incentives, Veggie Box subscriptions, farm to school programming, education and access programming for low-income seniors. Farm Fresh is an integral component of the Rhode Island food system.
Legal Issue: Farm Fresh came to the Legal Food Hub seeking legal assistance to review labor and employment policies and practices and ensure that they are up to speed on future expected changes in the law.
The Relationship: The Legal Food Hub connected Farm Fresh RI with labor and employment attorneys at Nixon Peabody to provide guidance as Farm Fresh RI works on updating employee handbooks and makes plans for its future practices. Nixon Peabody’s Rhode Island office has special expertise in employment law, so it was a perfect fit, ensuring that Farm Fresh, an important organization supporting Rhode Island’s food system, receives the legal support it needs.