Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1592 By Senator Bean 4-00177C-17 20171592__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to small food retailers; creating s. 3 595.430, F.S.; establishing the Healthy Food 4 Assistance Program within the Department of 5 Agriculture and Consumer Services; providing a 6 purpose; requiring the Office of Program Policy 7 Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct an 8 independent study evaluating the program’s policy 9 impact; providing for future repeal and legislative 10 review; creating s. 595.431, F.S.; providing 11 definitions; creating s. 595.432, F.S.; requiring the 12 department to develop guidelines and administer the 13 program; providing department duties and 14 responsibilities; providing for funding; creating s. 15 595.433, F.S.; providing duties and responsibilities 16 of program administrators; exempting program 17 administrators from provisions relating to state 18 procurement of certain property and services; 19 repealing s. 500.81, F.S., relating to the Healthy 20 Food Financing Initiative; providing an effective 21 date. 22 23 WHEREAS, overweight children and adults are at greater risk 24 for numerous adverse health consequences, including type 2 25 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high 26 cholesterol, certain cancers, asthma, low self-esteem, 27 depression, and other debilitating diseases, and 28 WHEREAS, in Florida, nearly 27 percent of adults were 29 considered overweight or obese in 2015, and nearly 13 percent of 30 children were considered overweight and obese in 2011, and 31 WHEREAS, obese children are at least twice as likely as 32 non-obese children to become obese adults, and 33 WHEREAS, obesity-related health conditions have serious 34 economic costs, and 35 WHEREAS, annual health care costs from obesity are at least 36 $190 billion dollars, or 21 percent of the nation’s total health 37 care spending, and are expected to rise substantially, and 38 WHEREAS, roughly 40 percent of these costs are paid through 39 Medicare and Medicaid, meaning that taxpayers pay much of the 40 cost, and 41 WHEREAS, Medicare and Medicaid spending would be reduced by 42 8.5 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, in the absence of 43 obesity-related spending, and 44 WHEREAS, annual medical expenditures in Florida related to 45 obesity are estimated at $6,675,670,940 with approximately $2.6 46 billion of this amount paid by Medicare and Medicaid in the 47 state, and 48 WHEREAS, many Americans, particularly those in low-income 49 neighborhoods, rural areas, and communities of color, reside 50 where adequate access to full-service grocery stores is not 51 guaranteed, and 52 WHEREAS, low-income areas have more than twice as many 53 convenience stores and four times as many small grocery stores 54 as high-income areas, and 55 WHEREAS, proximity to convenience stores within a 56 neighborhood is associated with higher rates of obesity and 57 diabetes, and 58 WHEREAS, small food retailers tend to sell few fresh 59 produce, whole grains, or low-fat dairy products, and 60 WHEREAS, small food retailers commonly sell highly 61 processed foods that are high in fat and low in nutrients, and 62 WHEREAS, small food retailers tend to charge higher prices 63 for their food as compared to grocery stores and supermarkets, 64 and 65 WHEREAS, providing assistance to existing small food 66 retailers to stock fresh produce and other healthy foods and 67 promote good nutrition can provide residents with access to 68 healthier foods, and 69 WHEREAS, community programs that work with small food 70 retailers have shown promise in increasing healthy food sales, 71 improving store offerings, and promoting good nutrition, and 72 WHEREAS, the program established pursuant to this act is 73 intended to be a source of funding to provide assistance for 74 Florida’s small food retailers operating in certain urban and 75 rural areas so that the retailers sell more fresh fruits and 76 vegetables and other healthy foods at affordable prices to 77 neighboring residents in an effort to improve residents’ diets 78 and health, NOW, THEREFORE, 79 80 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 81 82 Section 1. Section 595.430, Florida Statutes, is created to 83 read: 84 595.430 Healthy Food Assistance Program.— 85 (1) There is established within the department the Healthy 86 Food Assistance Program. 87 (2) The purpose of the program is to provide a process for 88 small food retailers to receive assistance for projects that 89 increase the availability and sales of fresh and nutritious 90 food, including fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafood in 91 low-income and moderate-income communities. 92 (3) The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government 93 Accountability shall conduct an independent study to evaluate 94 the policy impact of placing healthy food in previously 95 underserved communities. 96 (4) This section and ss. 595.431-595.433 are repealed June 97 30, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through 98 reenactment by the Legislature. 99 Section 2. Section 595.431, Florida Statutes, is created to 100 read: 101 595.431 Definitions.—As used in ss. 595.430-595.433, the 102 term: 103 (1) “Low-income community” means a population census tract, 104 as reported in the most recent United States Census Bureau 105 American Community Survey, which meets one of the following 106 criteria: 107 (a) The poverty rate is at least 20 percent; 108 (b) In the case of a low-income community located outside a 109 metropolitan area, the median family income does not exceed 80 110 percent of the statewide median family income; or 111 (c) In the case of a low-income community located within a 112 metropolitan area, the median family income does not exceed 80 113 percent of the statewide median family income or 80 percent of 114 the metropolitan area’s median family income, whichever is 115 greater. 116 (2) “Moderate-income community” means a population census 117 tract, as reported in the most recent United States Census 118 Bureau American Community Survey, in which the median family 119 income is between 81 percent and 95 percent of the statewide 120 median family income or metropolitan area’s median family 121 income. 122 (3) “Program” means the Healthy Food Assistance Program 123 established within the department pursuant to s. 595.430. 124 (4) “Project administrator” means an entity selected by the 125 department to manage the program to assist small food retailers 126 in low-income and moderate-income communities in the state. 127 (5) “Small food retailer” means a small-scale retail store 128 of less than 3,000 square feet, such as a corner store, 129 convenience store, neighborhood store, small grocery store, or 130 bodega, which sells a limited selection of foods and other 131 products. 132 Section 3. Section 595.432, Florida Statutes, is created to 133 read: 134 595.432 Duties and responsibilities of the department.— 135 (1) The department shall administer the program and develop 136 guidelines for the operation of the program. The guidelines may 137 include procedures for granting appropriated funds to a 138 qualified project administrator to provide assistance to small 139 food retailers in urban and rural low-income and moderate-income 140 communities to increase the sales of fresh produce and other 141 healthy foods. 142 (2) In administering the program, the department shall: 143 (a) Establish program administrator eligibility guidelines, 144 including, but not limited to, the development of an application 145 process for project administrators and monitoring and 146 accountability mechanisms for projects receiving assistance 147 under the program. At a minimum, a project administrator must be 148 a not-for-profit entity and have demonstrated experience in 149 developing and implementing strategies for healthy food retail 150 in small stores. 151 (b) Establish criteria for a project administrator to use 152 in determining which projects to select, including, but not 153 limited to, consideration of the level of need in the area 154 proposed to be served by the applicant. 155 (c) Provide materials to a project administrator that 156 educate consumers on the benefits of healthy eating and 157 encourage, when possible, buying Fresh From Florida agricultural 158 products for distribution. 159 (d) Electronically submit an annual report to the President 160 of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives 161 regarding the program, including, but not limited to, projects 162 funded, project expenditures, the geographic distribution of 163 funds, program results, and the program’s impact on any health 164 related initiatives. 165 (3) The department’s performance and obligation to pay 166 under this section is contingent upon an annual appropriation by 167 the Legislature. 168 Section 4. Section 595.433, Florida Statutes, is created to 169 read: 170 595.433 Duties and responsibilities of project 171 administrators.— 172 (1) A project administrator shall be responsible for 173 implementing and operating the program. The project 174 administrator shall: 175 (a) Establish and administer an application process for 176 small food retailers to participate in the program. At a 177 minimum, in order to receive assistance under the program, a 178 small food retailer must: 179 1. Be located in a low-income community or moderate-income 180 community. 181 2. Accept, or agree to apply to and accept Special 182 Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children 183 (WIC) benefits. 184 (b) Promote program availability throughout the state and 185 undertake efforts to raise funds from other private and public 186 sources. 187 (c) Use up to 10 percent of the funds distributed by the 188 department for administrative and operational costs associated 189 with operating the program, if such costs are not covered by 190 other budgets or in-kind resources. 191 (d) Collect and provide data and other information 192 quarterly as required by the department. 193 (e) Establish defined goals, standards, and accountability 194 mechanisms for eligible project applicants to ensure that the 195 expenditure of moneys is consistent with the purpose of the 196 program. 197 (f) Develop a plan for eligible project applicants by 198 describing specific goals for increasing the sales of produce 199 and other healthy foods and educating consumers on the benefits 200 of healthy eating, including, but not limited to, mechanisms to: 201 1. Engage communities to support participating small food 202 retailers. 203 2. Seek guidance from state, county, or municipal agencies, 204 private or public universities, cooperative extension services, 205 community-based organizations, and community members. 206 (g) Establish standards to assess whether project goals are 207 met. 208 (h) Ensure expenditures are appropriate by monitoring the 209 activities of small food retailers. 210 (i) Expend funds for each approved project only for the 211 following purposes: 212 1. Refrigeration, display shelving, or other equipment that 213 small food retailers need, up to a maximum of $7,500 per 214 retailer. 215 2. Materials and supplies for nutrition education and 216 healthy food promotion. 217 3. Initial purchases of healthy foods, including dairy 218 products, and fresh produce, up to a maximum of $2,000 per 219 retailer. 220 (2) For purposes of this section, a project administrator 221 is not subject to chapter 287. 222 Section 5. Section 500.81, Florida Statutes, is repealed. 223 Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.