Earlier this month, advocates from across the state joined the American Heart Association for our 2017 Healthy Food Access Lobby Day!
We encouraged every legislator in Michigan to support House Bill 4207. Together, we were able to meet with nearly half of the entire legislature, while expanding our reach to even more lawmakers and their staff during the luncheon portion of our event.
House Bill 4207 would help grocers open stores in areas of need in order to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and other components of a nutritious diet. Communities that lack access to healthy, affordable food are often characterized by obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health problems, but we can help change that.
House Bill 4207:
- Would amend the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to expand definition of “eligible property” to allow for certain food initiatives. This fund is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
- Under the bill, at least 5% of community revitalization money would have to go to neighborhood food incentives, which could include low-interest loans, grants or other assistance.
- Property that will be used primarily as a retail supermarket, grocery store, produce market, or delicatessen that is in a downtown area as determined by the MSF board, and offers unprocessed USDA-inspected meat and poultry products or meat products that carry the USDA organic seal, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products for sale to the public.
- Stores cannot use money to build or relocated in an area where other stores exist within one mile. But, all existing stores may apply.
- Passed House Commerce and Trade Committee on May 2nd with a vote of 11-2.