Voices for Healthy Kids
April 26, 2017
in Healthy Food Financing
We have exciting news from Oklahoma: the state is making progress in helping all families access affordable, healthy foods!
SB 506 – Healthy Food Financing Initiatives – was officially signed into law on April 25, 2017, by Governor Mary Fallin. After passing 3 committees and each chamber, this enabling legislation will serve as a vehicle to begin securing public and private funding to address food access throughout Oklahoma.
After legislation authored by Rep. Seneca Scott seeking to establish a task force to analyze food access failed to get a floor hearing last session, the American Heart Association worked quickly with Rep. Scott to find an alternate path to continue this effort. Oklahoma AHA staff identified an opportunity to create a partnership between Oklahoma’s tribal communities and the state, thus enacting a Memorandum of Understanding between Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to establish the Food Access Task Force.
SB 506 was the result of a coordinated effort between many advocates, including American Heart Association, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Department of Agriculture, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Department of Health, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Farm and Food Alliance, Healthy Community Store Initiative, Community Action Agency, and others who are actively engaged in work to address health equity and food access throughout the state. The task force voted to formally recommend the adoption of Healthy Food Financing legislation in the 2017 legislative session, and through the committed work of the task force and these partners, SB 506 has been signed into law.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this effort to improve the health of all citizens of Oklahoma!