On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1321, a bill we have been pushing hard for. The Farm Bill contains money to incentivize SNAP (food stamp) recipients to buy fresh produce at farmers’ markets. AB 1321 sets up the framework for California to attract those federal funds, which will make healthy eating choices more affordable to low-income families. As the organization that leads Market Match (the statewide program this bill will help to expand) the Ecology Center is elated that California’s leaders have taken this step. AB 1321 will improve food security in the state with the highest poverty rate nationally. Local communities and farmers up and down the state will benefit from federal dollars that will go to farmers who grow healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Bill author Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said in a press release about the signing of AB 1321, “‘We must improve access to nutritious food because diet is the foundation for health … California has unmatched agricultural bounty and the largest network of farmers’ markets that must be more effectively harnessed to fight malnutrition and hunger. Today’s signature will help us make the healthiest choice an easier choice for millions of Californians living in poverty.'”
We would like to thank Governor Brown, Assemblymember Ting, and the bill’s co-sponsors, Roots of Change, Public Health Institute, and Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. All this hard work will soon help expand access to healthy foods in California!
Yet, there is still some more work to be done. As exciting as this moment is, the bill provides the framework for capturing federal SNAP dollars. The crucial next step is that California must raise the money to attract those matching funds.
Click here to read the full press release from Assemblymember Ting’s office.
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