Food banks, farmers, and food access bill survives Appropriations, heads to House floor

January 26, 2021

Legislation improving food access/distribution infrastructure while assisting Virginia farmers and local and regional food banks survived the scrutiny of the House Appropriations Committee and will now be heard on the full House floor.

As previously reported in Capitol Contact, HB 2203 (Madame Speaker) establishes the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program and Fund (VFAP).  The VFAP will provide funding for Virginia farmers and food producers to donate, sell, or otherwise provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. The Program will also provide funding to local and regional food banks to reimburse farmers or food producers for any costs associated with harvesting, processing, packaging, or transporting agriculture products donated to such charitable food assistance organizations.  The bill aims to help the over one million Virginians that are at risk of hunger while also directly assisting local farmers and local and regional foodbanks.

The Senate counterpart to this bill, SB 1188 (Hashmi), was heard by the Senate, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee was rereferred to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.  It has not yet been docketed.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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