Kinsey applauds inclusion of Fresh Food Financing Initiative in state budget agriculture plan; calls on Senate to pass bill

HARRISBURG, Aug. 24 – The state budget signed into law earlier this month plans to invest heavily into Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector. This plan includes $2 million to fund the Fresh Food Financing Initiative.

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., introduced H.B. 580 to re-establish the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which operated from 2004 to 2010. This program provided grants and low-interest loans for the construction, rehabilitation or expansion of grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other healthy food retail establishments in low- to moderate-income areas in need and other underserved communities.

House Bill 580 passed the House in June and is currently sitting in the Senate. If this bill is voted out of the Senate and signed into law, this program would be reauthorized and the $2 million allocated for it in the budget can be utilized.

“I’m glad to see the governor prioritizing bringing fresh and nutritious foods to communities across Pennsylvania that need them the most,” Kinsey said. “We took the necessary steps here in the House to make this program’s resurgence a reality. Now, we need our colleagues in the Senate to do right by these desperate communities and pass House Bill 580 so we can re-establish this crucial program and bring healthier eating options to our communities.”