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Lydia Gessele

Lydia is a single mother of three children and raises chickens on her farm. After the Act passed in 2017, she began selling homemade tea blends, home-baked goods, and eggs from her home at farmers markets.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lydia is doing her part to help her community. Families have been struggling to find enough food and ingredients in the closest grocery stores, which are few and far between and have had runs on basic staples, like eggs, sugar, salt, and flour. To help out, Lydia has taken orders for fresh eggs from neighbors and has set up a contactless delivery system at her home, where she leaves the eggs in a cooler and her neighbors return the favor by leaving cash.

But for the Department’s rules, Lydia would also start selling hot meals from her home and at farmers markets. Lydia already legally donates many hot meals to charity, including homemade chicken noodle soup (made from the chickens that she raises on her farm), chili, tater tot hot dishes, and lasagna. She wants to sell these same meals to support her family.

Despite having successfully sold homemade for the last three years under the Act, the Department now bans Lydia from selling many of her foods to meet the demands from her community while earning an honest living.

  • March 27, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    The Legislature gave North Dakotans the freedom to buy and sell homemade foods and meals to their community when it passed the Cottage Food Act in 2017. For three years, North Dakotans sold delicious homemade foods to their friends and neighbors, creating hundreds of jobs. But in January 2020, a state agency—the Department of Health—illegally…

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