Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-62) and Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-44A), who championed legislation to promote healthy, local eating among low-income families and seniors were recognized at the Minneapolis Farmers Market by a coalition of hunger advocacy organizations.
The Healthy Eating, Here at Home law, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, will provide $325,000 a year in matching funds to farmers markets statewide that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars from participants using an EBT card for healthy purchases. The funds will be in the form of a $10 matching voucher and will be available next summer.
Hayden and Anderson led the effort with bipartisan support in the Minnesota House and Senate.
"Expanding SNAP benefits at farmers markets will grant those least able to afford healthy options access to affordable, locally grown produce—an option all Minnesotans deserve," said Hayden. "I know firsthand how beneficial these new dollars will be and applaud increasing fresh food options for SNAP families."
"Every mom wants the best food for their kids," said Anderson. "This legislation will give families another tool to put healthy foods on the supper table. Minnesota grown foods that help kids grow up to be healthy and strong so they do well in school. It's a great day for the health of our state."
Rabbi Harold Kravitz, former president of MAZON, a Jewish-based response to hunger, praised the legislators for their efforts.
"Rep. Anderson and Sen. Hayden were diligent in their efforts to make this a reality. We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to helping address hunger in this meaningful way," said Kravitz.
The Healthy Eating, Here at Home initiative is modeled after a 2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield pilot program that demonstrated increased access and consumption of fruits and vegetables when SNAP participants were given the resources to participate.
Minnesota Partners to End Hunger is a is a statewide network of service providers and advocates working to end hunger in Minnesota by motivating decision-makers to take supportive action on state and national hunger policy issues.
InsightNews.com - September 17, 2015