Plymouth lawmaker honored for healthy eating initiative

Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) is one of two state lawmakers to be recognized for legislation promoting healthy, local eating among low-income families and seniors.

Rabbi Harold Kravitz, senior rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka and immediate past chair of the National Board of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, presents Rep. Sarah Anderson with her award at a ceremony Sept. 9 at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. (Submitted photo)

Anderson and Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) were honored Sept. 9 at the Minneapolis Farmers Market by a coalition of hunger advocacy organizations for their work with the “Healthy Eating, Here at Home” law. Minnesota Partners to End Hunger 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.

Signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the law will provide $325,000 a year in matching funds to farmers markets statewide that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 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.

Anderson and Hayden led the effort with bipartisan support in the Minnesota House and Senate. The proposal was viewed as good for low-income Minnesotans, seniors, farmers and communities, as well as increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Minnesota.

“Every mom wants the best food for their kids,” Anderson said. “This legislation will give families another tool to put healthy foods on the supper table with 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 Response to Hunger, praised the legislators for their efforts.

“Rep. Anderson and Sen. Hayden were diligent in their efforts to make this a reality,” he said. “We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to helping address hunger in this meaningful way.”

Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the United States and Israel.

The “Healthy Eating, Here at Home” initiative is modeled after a successful 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.

 Sun Sailor - September 17, 2015