Healthy Corner Stores bill at Senate steps
If you’re interested in supporting healthy eating and local food producers, it might be time to contact a senator. A bill by a Tulsa legislator designed to make it easier for those interested in opening healthy corner grocery stores to get loans recently passed through the state House of Representatives.
House Bill 3015, by Rep. Seneca Scott, D-Tulsa, would make healthy corner stores, which are certified by the state Department of Agriculture as those that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods, able to receive agricultural linked deposit loans of up to $350,000.
Als0 known as the Oklahoma Agricultural Linked Deposit Act, the bill aims to promote the growth of such health-conscious stores in underserved areas of the state.
No more than 10 percent of a store’s gross sales can come from the sale of beer and tobacco. Most of the items on its shelves must be market-fresh fruits, vegetables and meat that is certified as such by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The stores also gives local producers a much-needed expansion of places to peddle their products.
Now that the bill has made it through the House, the next step is to get an audience with the Oklahoma Senate Finance Committee. If you think this bill is worthy, contact co-Chairs Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Sen. Mike Mazzei, and ask them to hear HB3015.
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