Introduced by Representatives Botzow of Pownal and Jerman of Essex
Subject: Appropriation; senior farmers’ market nutrition program
Statement of purpose: This bill would appropriate the amount of $50,000.00 from the general fund in fiscal year 2007 to the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living for the senior farmers’ market nutrition program.
AN ACT RELATING TO AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE SENIOR FARMERS’ MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS
The general assembly finds:
(1) The Vermont senior farmers’ market nutrition program is an important and valuable program both for Vermont’s senior citizens and for Vermont farmers.
(2) Through the provision of farmers’ market coupons, the program has increased access to fresh, local produce for low income seniors. Participants in the program increased their consumption of produce, which has positive impacts on their nutritional status and health.
(3) The program has been essential to the viability and expansion of many of Vermont’s farmers’ markets, particularly in small rural communities.
(4) The program supports the strengthening of Vermont communities by fostering interactions between seniors and the farmers at the markets.
(5) Coupons are fully distributed each year, long before the end of the distribution period. The coupon redemption rate for this program has been significantly higher than that for similar programs with other populations and has exceeded program expectations, evidencing an unfulfilled need for expansion of the program to serve more seniors.
Sec. 2. Appropriation; Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition
(a) There is appropriated the amount of $50,000.00 from the general fund in fiscal year 2007 to the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living for the senior farmers’ market nutrition program.
(b) The commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall ensure the program funded through this appropriation meet the following requirements:
(1) A minimum of 3,000 individuals age 60 or older shall be served through receipt of farm-to-family coupons in a benefit level of at least $15.00 per individual.
(2) The funding shall be focused on expansion of the farm-to-family component of the program in currently underserved areas of the state.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street