THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

338

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO A FOOD HUB PILOT PROGRAM.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's food security may be strengthened by growing more food locally and increasing residents' access to local food. This endeavor may be supported by establishing food hubs, which are centrally located facilities with a business management structure that facilitates the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and marketing of locally produced food products. By actively coordinating these activities along the value chain, food hubs may provide wider access to institutional and retail markets for small to mid-sized producers, and increase consumers' access to fresh healthy food, including those consumers in underserved areas and "food deserts."

The legislature also finds that food hubs encounter financial obstacles when seeking to launch or expand their operations. Therefore, a funding source is needed to support the establishment and growth of food hubs on a scale that meets demand by state institutions such as schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish a five-year food hub pilot program under the department of agriculture and appropriate funds for the program.

SECTION 2. (a) There is established a five-year food hub pilot program, which shall be administered by the department of agriculture.

(b) The pilot program shall:

(1) Adopt the United States Department of Agriculture's working definition of "food hub," which means "a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products;" and

(2) Award grant funding to qualified applicants for the construction of critical infrastructure to establish and expand food hubs in each of the counties, including:

(A) Construction or improvement of facilities for aggregation, washing, minimal processing, packaging, cold storage, and other value-added facilities; and

(B) Provision of technical assistance to develop in-state capacity to supply state institutions and other markets.

(c) The department of agriculture shall establish criteria for the award of initial start-up grant funding or subsequent expansion funding under the pilot program, including the following provisions:

(1) Priority shall be given to organizations with demonstrated experience in aggregation, washing, minimal processing, packaging, cold storage, and other value-additions for delivering local produce to local markets;

(2) Qualifying applicants shall include corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships, non-profit organizations, and agricultural cooperatives with requisite insurance requirements and a certificate of vendor compliance with Hawaii compliance express;

(3) Applicants seeking to launch new establishment of food areas where none currently exist shall first secure a physical location for the food hub and draft a detailed plan for the food hub's operation, including activities in which the applicant intends to engage, such as serving as a marketplace for buying and selling or providing certified kitchen space in which multiple farmers may share use of facilities for value-added product development; and

(4) Applicants shall explain their intended actions to increase access to locally produced food.

(d) The department of agriculture shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revied Statutes, for the administration and operation of the pilot program.

SECTION 3. (a) The department of agriculture shall submit interim reports on:

(1) The department's progress in implementing this Act;

(2) Preliminary results of the food hub pilot program; and

(3) The department's findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation,

to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2025.

(b) The department of agriculture shall submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2026. The report shall include the results of the food hub pilot program and a recommendation as to whether the program should be made permanent, with or without modifications.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the establishment of a five-year food hub pilot program, including the awarding of grant moneys to qualifying food hubs.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Department of Agriculture; Food Hub Pilot Program; Grant Funding; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a five-year food hub pilot program to increase access to local food. Provides for the award of grant funding to qualified applicants wishing to establish or expand a food hub. Requires reports to the Legislature. Makes an appropriation.

 

 

 

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