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New program pairs farmers, entrepreneurs with free legal aid

An environmental advocacy organization has launched a program in Rhode Island to pair local farmers and food entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their businesses with lawyers willing to provide free legal aid.

The Conservation Law Foundation's "Legal Food Hub" opened in Rhode Island Tuesday.

Foundation spokesman Josh Block says the goal of providing free legal services is to ensure that communities have access to healthy food options, grown locally.

He says four dozen Rhode Island attorneys are already involved in the hub.

The program started in Massachusetts in 2014 and expanded into Maine. CLF says more than 150 individuals and businesses have received help with permit regulations and tax code questions, among other issues.

CLF plans to launch the program in Connecticut next year and expand it nationally.



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