Slow Food members have often cooperated with and contributed to the California Food & Justice Coalition’s efforts to sponsor, support, or defeat legislation that will affect the quality of food, access to food, and land use regulations. Although they are not actively sponsoring legislation this year, they do ask us to remind you that the following bills are being discussed in our legislature.
AB 1112, formerly AB 1790, written and sponsored by Assembly member Rebecca Cohn:
This bill would replace the word “nutritious” with “fresh” in the California Fresh Start Program. Current regulations allow funds to be used for purchasing “nutritious” fruits and vegetables, which include fresh, frozen, canned, and dried. Changing the language back to fresh will reward schools who make the extra effort to serve fresh produce in school breakfast. AB 1112 is being held up in the Senate Rules committee and has not yet been referred to any Senate issue committees. The CHJC will send updates and alerts as they have them; in the meantime, those interested should contact Assembly member Cohn’s office for more information (visit Rebecca Cohn’s web site)
AB 2384, written by Assembly member Mark Leno:
The “Healthy Purchase” pilot program would provide funding and guidance for small neighborhood grocery stores and corner stores in targeted low-income communities to purchase, store, and market fresh healthy foods. It would also offer food stamp recipients financial incentives for purchasing fruits and vegetables in the pilot communities. It passed both the Assembly and the Senate Health Committee, and is now headed to Senate Appropriations. This bill is sponsored by California Food Policy Advocates: visit their site for more information.
SB 1329, written by Senator Elaine Alquist:
This bill creates a program to give financial incentives to supermarkets to locate in underserved neighborhoods. CFJC is supporting this bill with the hope that efforts will be made to direct funding to independent and regional chain grocers. It passed the Senate and is now being reviewed by the Assembly Rules Committee. This bill is sponsored by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy: visit their site for more information.
AB 2121, written by Assembly member Pedro Nava:
This bill would have establish the “Farm Fresh Schools” program to promote partnerships between school districts and local farmers to establish and expand Farm to School programs. It also promotes partnerships between schools, nonprofit organizations, and public and private agencies to provide related school activities that promote a comprehensive approach to nutrition and wellness. This bill was held up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and considered dead for this legislative session. It was sponsored by California Alliance with Family Farmers: visit their site for more information.
CFJC opposes SB 1056 written by Senator Florez.
This bill would prohibit local governments from enacting local ordinances to restrict GMO use. It is currently in the Assembly, and has already passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Californians for GE-Free Agriculture is organizing opposition to this bill: visit their site for more information.