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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 29, 2020 02:21 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb and Rep. Bob Brooks
To: All House members
Subject: Incentives for neighborhood restaurants to sell Pa Preferred groceries
Food deserts have been a problem for a long time. 
Many people in urban neighborhoods or rural communities do not have access to healthy food or must travel long distances to get to grocery stores that provide more than canned goods and pre-packaged foods. To improve the health and well-being of our communities, we need to ensure easy access to healthy foods.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, nearly 20 million people live in food deserts in the United States. That is more than the population of New York State. 
The Food Trust reports that more than 2 million people, including over 500,000 children, live in food deserts in Pennsylvania. And this is not just an urban problem. This problem also afflicts rural communities across the Commonwealth, especially those in the central and western parts of the state.
This legislation creates a new program called the Food Security Initiative funded by the federal CARES Act. This program has two parts – grants and a tax credit for enterprising, socially conscious restaurateurs who sell PA Preferred groceries to customers in under-served neighborhoods, food such as meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs.
Eligible restaurants opening or operating in a food desert can receive grants of up to $50,000 or tax credits of up to $100,000 to assist them in fortifying their business operations while offering  Pennsylvania-sourced groceries and creating local jobs in economically distressed communities.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important bipartisan legislation.

Introduced as HB2949