SB1245 provides a state funding match for a privately funded pilot program successfully operating in urban and rural areas throughout our state. The program targets populations who are on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The program offers more choice and increased access to healthy foods, specifically, Arizona-grown produce. It benefits our local Arizona farmers, the families who consume the food, and keeps dollars spent in our local economy.
I first heard the term “food desert” in the early 2000s. I heard about a family, living in poverty and extreme circumstances, where the children would walk to the local Circle K and buy food with the family’s SNAP/EBT card. This family needed healthier food options. SB1245 provides that choice. It includes local farmers markets, mobile food markets, and doubles food stamp dollars spent on Arizona fruits and vegetables. The long-term benefits are also a cost savings – a decrease in chronic health problems tied to poor nutrition, while boosting the local economies.
The Arizona-Grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive bill is a win for everyone – for children and families living in poverty, for seniors on fixed incomes and for rural and urban farmers across the state. SB1245 keeps Arizonans healthy and supports local agriculture. Please contact your state senators and representatives and ask them to support SB1245.
Visit www.letsgrowaz.org to learn more.
Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, a Phoenix Republican, represents Legislative District 28 and is vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.