STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1934
RE: H.C.R. No. 38
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.C.R. No. 38 entitled:
"HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO ISSUE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE GUS SCHUMACHER NUTRITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE MATCHING FUNDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE STATE DOUBLE UP FOOD BUCKS PROGRAM TO ALL APPROVED SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM RETAIL OUTLETS THROUGHOUT THE STATE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture to issue additional funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program to provide matching funds for the expansion of the state Double Up Food Bucks Program to all approved supplemental nutrition assistance program retail outlets throughout the State.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Hawaii Seed Growers Network, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Climate Protectors Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Ulupono Initiative, 350Hawaii.org, The Food Basket, and three individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that the State's Double Up Food Bucks Program, "DA BUX", provides critical support, availability, and accessibility of healthy foods for Hawaii's people. Higher rates of poor diets and chronic diseases for income-limited individuals and families can occur when there is limited access to fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables. However, the inclusion of fresh, locally grown produce into nutrition incentive programs not only provide crucial intervention for public health, but these programs also offer farmers increased sales of local produce. As the State continues to address the high cost of living, this measure affirms continued support of valuable nutrition programs and Hawaii's families, local farmers, and economy.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of H.C.R. No. 38, and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair