Bill Text: IL HB2539 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates the Healthy Food Program Development Act. Provides that the Department of Agriculture may coordinate with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish a Healthy Food Development Program to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas in the State by providing assistance to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers. Provides that the benefits provided shall be awarded to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers in eligible areas on a competitive basis, with priority given to projects with the greatest potential impact on expanding access to healthy foods ineligible areas that are underserved by retail sales of healthy food in the State. Provides requirements for participation in the program. Provides that the Department shall designate a grocery ambassador to assist retailers of healthy foods in this State by: (1) providing research and data on eligible areas with insufficient grocery access; (2) coordinating with the Department and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and other relevant State agencies; (3) providing assistance to small grocery retailers in this State, including obtaining and expediting regulatory procedures; and (4) providing other assistance as needed. Provides that the Department, in coordination with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, shall convene a working group to develop a plan for establishing a commercial distribution system, for fresh produce and healthy foods to corner stores and other small food retailers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-21 - Tabled [HB2539 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HB2539-Introduced.html


101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2019 and 2020
HB2539

Introduced , by Rep. Sonya M. Harper

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
New Act

Creates the Healthy Food Program Development Act. Provides that the Department of Agriculture may coordinate with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish a Healthy Food Development Program to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas in the State by providing assistance to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers. Provides that the benefits provided shall be awarded to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers in eligible areas on a competitive basis, with priority given to projects with the greatest potential impact on expanding access to healthy foods ineligible areas that are underserved by retail sales of healthy food in the State. Provides requirements for participation in the program. Provides that the Department shall designate a grocery ambassador to assist retailers of healthy foods in this State by: (1) providing research and data on eligible areas with insufficient grocery access; (2) coordinating with the Department and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and other relevant State agencies; (3) providing assistance to small grocery retailers in this State, including obtaining and expediting regulatory procedures; and (4) providing other assistance as needed. Provides that the Department, in coordination with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, shall convene a working group to develop a plan for establishing a commercial distribution system, for fresh produce and healthy foods to corner stores and other small food retailers.
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A BILL FOR

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1 AN ACT concerning healthy food access.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Healthy Food Program Development Act.
6 Section 5. Definitions.
7In this Act:
8 "Corner store" means a retail establishment that sells
9grocery products and has less than 5,000 square feet of selling
10area.
11 "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.
12 "Eligible area" means a historically underutilized
13business zone, as defined by 15 U.S.C. 632(p)(1).
14 "Farmers' market" means a public market at which farmers
15and other producers sell fresh produce and healthy foods.
16 "Grocery store" means a retail establishment that has a
17primary business of selling grocery products; has at least
185,000 square feet of selling area that is used for a general
19line of food and non-food grocery products; and meets the
20eligibility requirements for the federal Supplemental
21Nutrition Assistance Program.
22 "Small food retailer" means a small business that is not a
23grocery store.

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1 Section 10. Healthy Food Development Program.
2 (a) The Department may coordinate with the Department of
3Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish a Healthy Food
4Development Program to expand access to healthy foods in
5eligible areas in the State by providing assistance to grocery
6stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food
7retailers.
8 (b) The Department of Public Health, Environmental
9Protection Agency, and other relevant State agencies shall
10coordinate with the Department and the Department of Commerce
11and Economic Opportunity upon request to establish the Healthy
12Food Development Program.
13 Section 15. The Healthy Food Development Program benefits.
14 (a) The Healthy Food Development Program may provide a
15combination of any or all of the following benefits to grocery
16stores, corner stores, farmer markets, or other small food
17retailers in eligible areas:
18 (1) grants;
19 (2) loans;
20 (3) State tax credits;
21 (4) equipment;
22 (5) other financial assistance; and
23 (6) technical assistance.
24 (b) The benefits provided in subsection (a) shall be

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1awarded to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and
2other small food retailers in eligible areas on a competitive
3basis, with priority given to projects with the greatest
4potential impact on expanding access to healthy foods in
5eligible areas that are underserved by retail sales of healthy
6food in this State.
7 (c) Grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and
8other small food retailers are encouraged to work cooperatively
9to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas in this
10State.
11 (d) The Department and the Department of Commerce and
12Economic Opportunity may contract with non-profit
13organizations to promote and implement this program.
14 Section 20. Requirements.
15 (a) Grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and
16other small retailers participating in the Healthy Food
17Development Program shall be strongly encouraged to:
18 (1) apply and accept benefits from the federal
19 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
20 (2) apply and accept benefits from the federal Women,
21 Infants, and Children (WIC) program;
22 (3) employ residents of this State.
23 (b) Resources may be provided to assist grocery stores,
24corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers
25in acquiring the necessary technology to accept SNAP and WIC

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1benefits.
2 (c) As a condition of participating in the Healthy Food
3Development Program, persons or entities operating grocery
4stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food
5retailers shall agree in writing to sell produce or other
6healthy foods for at least 3 years; provided that this
7requirement is not applicable if the individual or entity, or
8its successor ceases all of its retail food sales operations.
9 Section 25. Grocery ambassador and working group.
10 (a) The Department shall designate a grocery ambassador to
11assist retailers of healthy foods in this State by: (1)
12providing research and data on eligible areas with insufficient
13grocery access; (2) coordinating with the Department and the
14Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and other
15relevant State agencies; (3) providing assistance to small
16grocery retailers in this State, including obtaining and
17expediting regulatory procedures; and (4) providing other
18assistance as needed.
19 (b) The Department, in coordination with the Department of
20Commerce and Economic Opportunity, shall convene a working
21group to develop a plan for establishing a commercial
22distribution system for fresh produce and healthy foods to
23corner stores and other small food retailers. These businesses
24shall be encouraged to work cooperatively to maximize their
25buying power.

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1 (c) The working group shall include representatives from:
2 (1) the Department and the Department of Commerce and
3 Economic Opportunity and other relevant State agencies;
4 (2) the grocery ambassador designated in subsection
5 (a);
6 (3) non-profit organizations;
7 (4) urban framers and community gardeners;
8 (5) corner stores and their trade associations; and
9 (6) produce wholesalers.
10 (d) The working group shall issue a report, including its
11recommendations to the General Assembly on or before December
1231, 2021.
13 (e) The Department and the Department of Commerce and
14Economic Opportunity may issue grants, on a competitive basis,
15for the establishment of a commercial distribution system for
16fresh produce and healthy foods.
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