STAND. COM. REP. NO. 978
RE: S.B. No. 512
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred S.B. No. 512, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INCENTIVES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to expand the Hawaii Healthy Food Incentive Program, also known as the Double Up Food Bucks Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture to make fresh fruits and vegetables more readily accessible to families or individuals in Hawaii who receive assistance through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by:
(1) Removing the $10 per visit per day cap on the dollar-for-dollar match received by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries under the Double Up Food Bucks Program; and
(2) Specifying that healthy proteins are eligible purchases under the Program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health; Department of Agriculture; Office of Planning; Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency and Department of Community Services of the City and County of Honolulu; Hawai‘i Community Foundation; Hawaii Medical Service Association; Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i; Malama Kaua‘i; Hawai‘i Pacific Health; Hawaii Primary Care Association; Hawai‘i Public Health Institute; Hawaii Association of Health Plans; Hawai‘i Public Health Association; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice; Hawai‘i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development; Ulupono Initiative; Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Blue Zones Project; Kamehameha Schools; ‘Ohana Health Plan; AlohaCare; American Diabetes Association; GreenWheel Food Hub; Local Food Coalition; Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action; The Food Basket Inc.; Kulahaven Farms LLC; We Are One, Inc.; Neighborhood Place of Puna; HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc.; Early Childhood Action Strategy; Our Revolution Hawaii; 350Hawaii.org; Catholic Charities Hawai‘i; and numerous individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services, University of Hawai‘i System, and American Heart Association.
Your Committee finds that major health authorities, including the United States Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, recommend increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables as a means to prevent chronic disease and improve overall health. However, access to fresh produce for income-limited individuals can be difficult and is one of the reasons they often have poorer diets and higher rates of chronic disease than higher-income persons. This measure will increase access to fresh produce and healthy proteins by income-limited individuals.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 512, S.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
MARK J. HASHEM, Chair