House Bill 2331 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

As an organization, we try to keep our members informed of legislative actions that affect our markets. Just such as action is up for a hearing Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Please see the message below for details and please consider contacting your local representative and express your support for this bill.

Dear Friends,

I learned today that House Bill 2331 is going before the Agricultural Committee Tuesday, February 16th. I am attaching the committees contact information and asking that you either email or call and ask them to support this Bill. Some of you are quite aware that I have worked toward this Bill for the past year and I am asking for your help to encourage them to pass it to a house vote.

For others who are not acquainted with the contents, I will tell you that it is a Federally funded grant that will not affect the state budget and will give limited income seniors (60 and over) vouchers for farmer markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. This is a non-partisan issue and forty-three states currently provide this benefit and unfortunately, Missouri is not one of them. The federal grant was developed to provide proper nutrition for seniors. Proper nutrition plays an important role to the well-being of seniors. We now have the opportunity to include our Missouri seniors and also benefit our local growers. This, in turn, will add additional revenue for Missouri.

I do apologize that I am contacting you with so little notice, but I am afraid that this is how our legislative process operates. I am optimistic that when we pass committee, I will once again ask you to contact your representatives prior to a house vote. Just a fast call or short email is all that is necessary to make everyone aware that we, as voters, do care about each other. Please feel free to forward to neighbors, friends and relatives because this will benefit each and everyone one of us whether directly or indirectly.

Thank You For Your Support

Mary Chronister
SHL Representative

Your support and your action can have an effect on the health and nutrition of your community. Please contact the members of the Agriculture Committee and let them know that this is important to you.

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3 Comments to “House Bill 2331 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program”

  1. George Sackett says:

    A little more explanation about the bill:

    The federal government established a grant in 1991 to promote proper nutrition for seniors. There was twenty million dollars distributed to forty three states in 2015 to be issued in the form of vouchers from May to October to low income seniors for fresh produce from designated farmers markets. The Department of Health and Senior Services receives the funds. The distribution of the vouchers, eligibility and records are handled by the local Area Agencies on Aging. The minimum a state can receive is $75,000. The calculation is made by the total amount of funds available, number of participants estimated to be served, and the projected benefit level. Some states are receiving over $1,000,000 per year. Local corporations have also donated additional funds for the program. Last year WalMart donated $75,000 to Arkansas for their nutrition program.

    Unfortunately, Missouri has not applied for this grant. I have been in contact with USDA and DHSS. DHSS was under the assumption that the grant required matching funds which I managed with USDA help to get that corrected. They have now decided, due to budget cuts, they won’t have the manpower to administer the program and will not be applying for this grant even though ten percent of the grant goes towards administration costs. This money is important to our seniors, local growers and economy.

  2. Brad Gray says:

    Thanks so much for the information. I support all of the efforts that are going into this type of program. It’s sad but all too true that Seniors are not eating wholesome foods. This bill would give them an incentive to come to farmers markets and get back to eating what most of them grew up eating. Plus it would benefit local economies, support local growers, and probably lower Seniors need to rack up medical bills. Thanks George for taking the time to bring us up to date on this issue

    Brad Gray

  3. Sally Haines says:

    As a senior, I am concerned with the number of issues seniors need to contend with on a daily basis. Nutrition should not be one of them. This grant would be instrumental in getting our seniors the proper nutrition to sustain them in their later years. Please know that you can count on my husband and myself for support of this grant.
    Sally Haines

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