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S.F. No. 316 - Establishing the Healthy Eating, Here at Home Program (Delete-Everything Amendment A-6)
Author: Senator Jeff Hayden
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: March 12, 2015


         S.F. No. 316 establishes a grant program to provide incentives to low-income Minnesotans to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for purchases at Minnesota farmers’ markets.  The Commissioner of Human Services is required to allocate grants to nonprofit organizations that work with farmers’ markets to provide vouchers to SNAP participants, and award grants based on a nonprofit's submitted plan for voucher distribution that demonstrates how the nonprofit will achieve geographic balance. The eligible households that receive vouchers must be informed of the allowable uses of the voucher, which is for healthy purchases at farmers' markets. The nonprofits must report annually to the commissioner with information regarding the program.  $1,000,000 per year is appropriated for the program established in this bill.

        To address concerns expressed when the bill was heard in the Health, Human Services and Housing Policy Committee, the following modifications are incorporated into the A-6 amendment: updates references to SNAP eligibility and the definition of “Minnesota-based farmers’ market,” caps vouchers at $10, clarifies that the funds cannot be used for healthy cooking classes or food education outreach, and caps administrative costs at three percent of the appropriation.  The amendment also adds a subdivision requiring the commissioner to submit a waiver request to the federal government to allow SNAP participants to use the vouchers for healthy produce at grocery stores.


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