Bipartisan pair pushes bill to expand families' access to fresh produce
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A pair of senators is teaming up to try to get more healthy food on the table for families who need it most.
Democrat Sen. Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst are working together to try to pass the “Farm Fresh Food for Families Act.” They say the bill would help boost nutrition for kids while also benefiting local famers.
“To access fresh, locally grown produce, grown by farmers in our state,” Ossoff said.
“Making sure those mothers, those children have access to that and the nutrition that brings, very, very important,” Ernst said.
The legislation would update the existing WIC Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, which gives moms and young children extra coupons for food from farmer’s markets.
“Childhood nutrition is the foundation for success in life, for performance in school, for physical health and mental health,” Ossoff said.
The bill doubles the minimum assistance that families can get through the program and removes the maximum cap. It would also expand eligibility on the sales side to include more farmers and produce vendors.
“It’s not just that we are providing locally grown fresh produce for those families, but it also supports our farmers,” Ernst said.
With support from both sides of the aisle, they think their bill has a good chance.
“Hopefully we see it pass over the threshold and get signed into law by the president this year or early next year,” Ernst said.
“We are always more likely to succeed for families, for children, for farmers, for our states when we work together across party lines like this,” Ossoff said.
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