Florida’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) program bill is on its way to a floor vote in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives with a 118-0 unanimous vote. The bill has moved through the committee process on both sides of the legislature unanimously and we expect the Senate to pass the bill as well. There will be one more hurdle to overcome before the legislative session ends and that is to convince both the House and the Senate to fund the program at $5 million.
The HFFI bill could create hundreds of jobs, increase economic development and be a staple for revitalizing communities across the state. In order to accomplish these goals, the state will need to invest in the program. The money the state invests will be used to leverage private and federal funds to expand the pool of funding for projects that would increase access to healthy foods in food deserts. The more “seed” money the state provides, the more palatable it becomes for other investors to pool their funds so the program can finance more projects.
As we come to the end of session, we will be working through the process to get our state funding and to work with our volunteers and coalition partners to educate them on the opportunities the program could provide to their memberships and businesses. If you would like more information, contact David Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Landreth at email@example.com.