This bill would strengthen and expand an existing state pilot accessing federal funds and other grants to increase amounts of farm fresh produce available to those on aid, including SNAP WIC and other programs.
AAP Positional Letter
August 10, 2015
Senate Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2206
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1321 (Ting) Farmers Market to Aid Programs Match
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Senate Appropriations Committee:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA) representing 5,000 board-certified pediatricians statewide, respectfully supports proposed legislation AB 1321 (Ting). This bill would strengthen and expand an existing state pilot accessing federal funds and other grants to increase amounts of farm fresh produce available to those on aid, including SNAP, WIC and other programs.
Increased access to farmer’s markets through food assistance programs gives children living in poverty access to nutritious and fresh foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition states in their policy for Prevention of Pediatric Obesity, “The dramatic increase in the prevalence of childhood overweight and its resultant comorbidities are associated with significant health and financial burdens, warranting strong and comprehensive prevention efforts…Foods that are nutrient rich and palatable yet low in excess energy from added sugars and fat need to be readily available to parents, school and child care food services, and others responsible for feeding children. Potential affordable sources include community gardens and farmers’ market projects.” (2015)
AB 1321 (Ting) would establish the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program in the Office of Farm to Fork within the California Department of Food and Agriculture to encourage the consumption and purchase of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables by connecting farmers with food assistance recipients. As pediatricians, we have a special role in preventing future health problems for our patients by intervening early and encouraging healthy lifestyles for children now. Prevention is almost always far less costly to the state than the cost of poor outcomes associated with long-term obesity, including poorer physical and mental health issues such as depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
Therefore, we urge you AYE vote on AB 1321 (Ting).
Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of children, youth and families in California.
Amy Whittle, MD FAAP
AAP-CA State Government Affairs