Schwartz Bill Aims to Expand Food Options

6/15/2013 7:00 AM

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa., introduced legislation Wednesday to support a national Healthy Food Financing Initiative, a market-based approach to bring jobs and investment to underserved communities where healthy food options are scarce or unaffordable.

Schwartz’s bill would authorize $125 million to continue the initiative to help make more grocery stores, farmers markets, food cooperatives and other options accessible by providing one time startup grants and affordable loan financing.

Modeled after the successful Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the federal program is a public-private partnership that expands investment in underserved communities, known as “food deserts,” by providing flexible grant and loan financing.

The bill is a companion measure to legislation (S 821) U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced in the Senate.

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