On November 7th, Sen. Michael Moore’s Healthy Food Access Bill (Senate Bill 380, “An Act Relative to Food Trusts”), was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture.
The bill is one of the Act FRESH Campaign priorities, and campaign members have been active providing oral and written testimony urging passage of the bill. The legislation will help address the problem of access to healthy food in underserved areas by providing loans, grants, and technical assistance to support the development, renovation, and expansion of grocery stores, farmers markets, and other retailers. Click here to learn more about the bill and read the Act FRESH testimony in support.
The legislation was developed as a result of the Grocery Access Task Force, a group of public health, food retail, economic development, and other civic leaders who came together over the last two years to develop solutions the problem of poor access to healthy food. Partners including The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Food Association have been lead partners with MPHA in both the Task Force and pushing for passage of this legislation.
The bill moves on now to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for review. Earlier in the year, a very similar House version of the bill (H3504, filed by then-Representative Linda Dorcena Forry prior to her election to the Senate) had been reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Small Business and Community Development. That bill is currently before the House Ways and Means Committee.
The favorable reports from two different committees creates promising prospects for this bill. Working together with our Act FRESH Campaign partners and other allies, we will continue to push for passage of this bill that would improve health in communities across the state.