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CS/CS/CS HB 153 — Healthy Food Financing Initiative Pilot Program

by State Affairs Committee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee; Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee; and Reps. Santiago, Lee, and others (CS/CS/SB 760 by Appropriations Committee; Agriculture Committee; and Senators Bean, Sobel, Soto, Flores, Gibson, Smith, Thompson, Joyner, and Sachs)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Agriculture Committee (AG)

This bill directs the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a Healthy Food Financing Initiative Program to provide financial assistance for the rehabilitation or expansion of grocery retail outlets located in underserved or low-income communities. It will draw upon and coordinate the use of federal, state, and private loans or grants, federal tax credits, and other types of financial assistance. The goal of the program is to improve public health and well-being of low-income children, families, and older adults by increasing access to fresh produce and other nutritious foods at participating independent grocery outlets that will be required to allocate at least 30 percent of their retail space to the sale of perishable foods, which may include fresh or frozen dairy products, fresh produce, and fresh meats, poultry, and fish. Annual reporting of the Program’s accomplishments is required to be made to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, and, after seven years, the Office of Program and Policy Analysis and Government Accountability is directed to review the impact and successfulness of the program.

The bill provides for an appropriation of $500,000 in nonrecurring general revenue in the 2016-2017 fiscal year to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to implement this bill. It specifies that no more than three recipients may receive funding.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 120-0