SACRAMENTO—AB 2246, a bill authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), was signed by Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend, building upon the Speaker’s commitment to increasing access to healthy foods in communities across California.
“I am very pleased the Governor has signed my legislation which will help ensure that rural and urban communities throughout California have access to healthy, nutritious food,” said Speaker Pérez. “Every family should have access to quality food, and this legislation will help get the word out in underserved communities as to where they can find healthier choices.”
AB 2246, which has strong bipartisan support, requires the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative Council (CHFFIC) to create and maintain a website that includes information on actions taken by the Council and state agencies and include information on potential public or private funding and other resources related to increasing access to healthy foods in the state. The bill is necessary for increasing the public’s awareness of the Council, helping Californians gain much needed access to healthier foods.
The Council and the California Healthy Foods Financing Initiative were established last year in the Speaker’s bill AB 581, designed to give access to affordable, healthy and quality foods, such as fruits, vegetables and dairy products, to areas known as food deserts, which occur in rural and urban regions throughout the state. Residents of food deserts suffer from higher rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, leading to preventable and premature deaths.
Speaker Pérez has seen first-hand how food deserts can harm a community. Prior to becoming elected, he spent almost 10 years advocating for a full-service grocery store in his Downtown Los Angeles neighborhood.
The CHFFIC is an inter-departmental council, consisting of the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture, California Health and Human Services and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Website of Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker
CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408