Legislation Would Increase Access to Healthy, Affordable Food

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

May 2, 2011

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Senate Bill (SB) 1454, by Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., and House Bill (HB) 2414, by Representative Boris Miles, seek to improve the nutritional health of Texans by exploring ways to increase access to healthy and affordable food.

SB 1454 would expand the membership, scope, and focus of the Interagency Obesity Council to enhance the state’s efforts to fight obesity; develop a financing plan to increase the availability of supermarkets in underserved areas; support local farmers and increase the availability of fresh produce in schools and child care centers; and develop incentives to encourage Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamp) recipients to purchase more fresh produce.

HB 2414 would continue and expand the work of the Healthy Food Advisory Committee, which was established in 2009 by SB 343, by Senator Jane Nelson, to study the retail availability of healthy foods in underserved areas of this state. This Policy Page explores food access barriers in Texas and the options for increasing the availability and affordability of nutritious food.