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SF 2958

as introduced - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 03/24/2016 12:18pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to agriculture; establishing a good food access program to provide
financial and technical assistance to increase access to affordable foods; requiring
a report; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 17.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [17.1017] GOOD FOOD ACCESS PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this section, unless the language
or context indicates that a different meaning is intended, the following terms have the
meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Account" means the good food access account established in subdivision 3.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Economic or community development finance institution (ECDFI)" means a
lender, including but not limited to a community development finance institution (CDFI),
an economic development district (EDD), a regional unit of government, a microenterprise
firm, or a nonprofit community lending organization that has previous experience
lending to a food retailer, producer, or another healthy food enterprise in an underserved
community in a low-income or moderate-income area, as defined in this section; has
been in existence and operating as a public-private partnership prior to January 1, 2014;
has demonstrated the ability to raise matching capital and in-kind services to leverage
appropriated money; has the demonstrated ability to underwrite loans and grants; and
has partnered previously with nonprofit healthy food access, public health, or related
governmental departments or community organizations.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Farmers' market" means an association of three or more persons who assemble
at a defined location that is open to the public for the purpose of selling directly to the
consumer the products of a farm or garden occupied and cultivated by the person selling
the product.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Financing" means loans, including low-interest loans, zero-interest loans,
forgivable loans, and other types of financial assistance other than grants.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Food hub" means a centrally located facility with a business management
structure that facilitates the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, marketing, and
sale of locally or regionally produced food products, and which may include a small-scale
retail grocery operation.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Grocery store" means a for-profit, not-for-profit, or cooperative self-service retail
establishment that sells primarily meat, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, dry groceries,
and dairy products and may also sell household products, sundries, and other products.
Grocery store includes a supermarket or a large-, mid-, or small-scale retail grocery
establishment and may include a mobile food market or a delivery service operation.
new text end

new text begin (i) "Low-income area" means a census tract as reported in the most recently
completed decennial census published by the United States Bureau of the Census that has
a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or in which the median family income does not exceed
80 percent of the greater of the statewide or metropolitan median family income.
new text end

new text begin (j) "Moderate-income area" means a census tract as reported in the most recently
completed decennial census published by the United States Bureau of the Census in which
the median family income is between 81 percent and 95 percent of the median family
income for that area.
new text end

new text begin (k) "Mobile food market" means a self-contained for-profit, not-for-profit, or
cooperative retail grocery operation located in a movable new or renovated truck, bus, or
other vehicle that is used to store, prepare, display, and sell primarily meat, fish, seafood,
fruits, vegetables, dry groceries, and dairy products and may also be used to sell a nominal
supply of cooking utensils and equipment and other household products and sundries.
new text end

new text begin (l) "Program" means the good food access program established in this section.
new text end

new text begin (m) "Small food retailer" means a small-scale retail food outlet, other than a grocery
store as defined in this section. Small food retailer includes, but is not limited to, a corner
store, convenience store, farmers' market, mobile food market, and a retail food outlet
operated by an emergency food program or food hub.
new text end

new text begin (n) "Technical assistance" means needs-based project assistance provided through
the program, including sustainability-focused individualized guidance, presentations,
workshops, printed materials, mentorship opportunities, peer-to-peer opportunities, or
other guidance and resources on relevant topics such as cash flow, succession planning,
financing, fund-raising, marketing, food preparation demonstrations, and workforce
training.
new text end

new text begin (o) "Underserved community" means a census tract that is federally designated
as a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture, or a census tract in a
low-income or moderate-income area that includes a substantial subpopulation such as
the elderly or the disabled that has low supermarket access, regardless of distance, due to
lack of appropriate transportation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Program established. new text end

new text begin (a) A good food access program is established
within the Department of Agriculture to increase the availability of and access to
affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food, including fresh fruits and
vegetables, for underserved communities in low-income and moderate-income areas by
providing financial support and sustainable public-private projects to open, renovate,
or expand the operations of grocery stores and small food retailers; and to provide
technical assistance, primarily for small food retailers with demonstrated need, to increase
availability and sustainable sales of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate
food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to underserved communities in low-income
and moderate-income areas. The commissioner, in cooperation with public and private
partners, shall establish and implement the program as provided in this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) The good food access program shall be comprised of state or private grants, loans,
or other types of financial and technical assistance for the establishment, construction,
expansion of operations, or renovation of grocery stores and small food retailers to increase
the availability of and access to affordable fresh produce and other nutritious, culturally
appropriate food to underserved communities in low-income and moderate-income areas.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Good food access account. new text end

new text begin A good food access account is established in
the agricultural fund. The account consists of money appropriated by the legislature to the
commissioner, as provided by law, and any other money donated, allotted, transferred,
or otherwise provided to the account. Money in the account may only be expended on
projects receiving financing, grants, or other financial and technical assistance as provided
under this section, and shall be used, to the extent practicable, to leverage other forms of
public and private financing for the projects.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Program administration. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall be the administrator
of the account for auditing purposes and shall establish program requirements and a
competitive process for projects applying for financial and technical assistance.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner may receive money or other assets from any source, including
but not limited to philanthropic foundations and financial investors, for deposit into the
account, and shall direct the investment of the account and credit to the account interest
and earnings from account investments.
new text end

new text begin (c) Through issuance of requests for proposals, the commissioner may contract with
one or more qualified economic or community development finance institutions to manage
the financing component of the program and with one or more qualified organizations or
public agencies with financial or other program-related expertise to manage the provision
of technical assistance to project grantees.
new text end

new text begin (d) No less than ten percent and no more than 15 percent of the money in the
account shall be reserved for contracted administrative and operational costs to manage
the financing and technical assistance components of the program. Any additional money
needed for administrative and operational costs may be provided from other budgets or
in-kind resources.
new text end

new text begin (e) Money in the account at the close of each fiscal year shall remain in the account
and shall not cancel. In each biennium, the commissioner shall determine the appropriate
proportion of money to be allocated to loans, grants, technical assistance, and any other
types of financial assistance.
new text end

new text begin (f) To encourage public-private, cross-sector collaboration and investment in the
account and program and to ensure that the program intent is maintained throughout
implementation, the commissioner shall convene and maintain a program advisory group
with diverse representation from throughout the state, including, but not limited to,
representation from multiple state agencies, cultural and ethnic community councils, local
and regional governments, foundations, and public health and community organizations.
new text end

new text begin (g) The commissioner, in cooperation with the program advisory group, shall
manage the program, establish program criteria, facilitate leveraging of additional public
and private investment, and promote the program statewide.
new text end

new text begin (h) The commissioner, in cooperation with the program advisory group, shall
establish annual monitoring and accountability mechanisms for all projects receiving
financing or other financial or technical assistance through this program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Eligible projects. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner, in cooperation with the program
partners and advisors, shall establish project eligibility guidelines and application processes
to be used to review and select project applicants for financing or other financial or
technical assistance. All financed projects must be located in an underserved community or
must serve primarily underserved communities in low-income and moderate-income areas.
new text end

new text begin (b) Projects eligible for financing include, but are not limited to, new construction,
renovations, expansions of operations, and infrastructure upgrades of grocery stores and
small food retailers to improve the availability of and access to affordable, nutritious food,
including fresh fruits and vegetables, and build capacity in areas of greatest need.
new text end

new text begin (c) Projects eligible for other types of financial assistance such as grants or
technical assistance are primarily projects throughout the state, including, but not limited
to, feasibility studies, new construction, renovations, expansion of operations, and
infrastructure upgrades of small food retailers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Qualifications for receipt of financing and other financial or technical
assistance.
new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant for receipt of financing through an economic or community
development financial institution, or an applicant for a grant or other financial or technical
assistance, may be a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, including, but not limited to, a sole
proprietorship, limited liability company, corporation, cooperative, nonprofit organization,
or nonprofit community development organization. Each applicant must:
new text end

new text begin (1) demonstrate community engagement in and support for the project;
new text end

new text begin (2) demonstrate the capacity to successfully implement the project;
new text end

new text begin (3) demonstrate a viable plan for long-term sustainability, including the ability to
increase the availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate
food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, for underserved communities in low-income
and moderate-income areas; and
new text end

new text begin (4) demonstrate the ability to repay the debt, to the extent that the financing requires
repayment.
new text end

new text begin (b) Each applicant must also agree to comply with the following conditions for a
period of at least five years, except as otherwise specified in this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits;
new text end

new text begin (2) apply to accept Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants,
and Children (WIC) benefits and, if approved, accept WIC benefits;
new text end

new text begin (3) allocate at least 30 percent of retail space for the sale of affordable, nutritious,
and culturally appropriate foods, including fruits and vegetables, low-fat and nonfat
dairy, fortified dairy substitute beverages such as soy-based or nut-based dairy substitute
beverages, whole grain rich staple foods, meats, poultry, fish, seafood, and other proteins,
consistent with nutrition standards in national guidelines described in the current United
States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans;
new text end

new text begin (4) comply with all data collection and reporting requirements established by the
commissioner; and
new text end

new text begin (5) promote the hiring, training, and retention of local or regional residents from
low-income and moderate-income areas that reflect area demographics, including
communities of color.
new text end

new text begin (c) A selected project that is a small food retailer is not subject to the allocation
agreement under paragraph (b), clause (3), and may use financing, grants, or other financial
or technical assistance for refrigeration, displays, or onetime capital expenditures for the
promotion and sale of perishable foods, including a combination of affordable, nutritious,
and culturally appropriate fresh or frozen dairy, dairy substitute products, produce, meats,
poultry, and fish, consistent with nutrition standards in national guidelines described in the
current United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Additional selection criteria. new text end

new text begin In determining which qualified projects to
finance, and in determining which qualified projects to provide with grants or other types
of financial or technical assistance, the commissioner, in cooperation with any entities
with which the commissioner contracts for those purposes and the program advisory
group, shall also consider:
new text end

new text begin (1) the level of need in the area to be served;
new text end

new text begin (2) the degree to which the project requires an investment of public support, or
technical assistance where applicable, to move forward, build capacity, create community
impact, or be competitive;
new text end

new text begin (3) the likelihood that the project will have positive economic and health impacts on
the underserved community, including creation and retention of jobs for local or regional
residents from low-income and moderate-income areas that reflect area demographics,
including communities of color;
new text end

new text begin (4) the degree to which the project will participate in state and local health department
initiatives to educate consumers on nutrition, promote healthy eating and healthy weight,
and support locally grown food products through programs such as Minnesota Grown; and
new text end

new text begin (5) any other criteria that the commissioner, in cooperation with public and private
partners, determines to be consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Eligible costs. new text end

new text begin Financing for project loans, including low-interest,
zero-interest, and forgivable loans, grants, and other financial or technical assistance, may
be used to support one or more of the following purposes:
new text end

new text begin (1) site acquisition and preparation;
new text end

new text begin (2) predevelopment costs, including but not limited to feasibility studies, market
studies, and appraisals;
new text end

new text begin (3) construction and build-out costs;
new text end

new text begin (4) equipment and furnishings;
new text end

new text begin (5) workforce or retailer training; and
new text end

new text begin (6) working capital.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Legislative report. new text end

new text begin The commissioner, in cooperation with any economic
or community development financial institution and any other entity with which it
contracts, shall submit an annual report on the good food access program by January 15 of
each year to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and
senate committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture policy and finance. The
annual report shall include, but not be limited to, a summary of the following metrics:
new text end

new text begin (1) the number and types of projects financed;
new text end

new text begin (2) the amount of dollars leveraged or matched per project;
new text end

new text begin (3) the geographic distribution of financed projects;
new text end

new text begin (4) the number and types of technical assistance recipients;
new text end

new text begin (5) any market or commodity expansion associated with increased access;
new text end

new text begin (6) the demographics of the areas served;
new text end

new text begin (7) the costs of the program;
new text end

new text begin (8) the number of SNAP and WIC dollars spent;
new text end

new text begin (9) any increase in retail square footage;
new text end

new text begin (10) the number of loans or grants to minority-owned or female-owned businesses;
and
new text end

new text begin (11) measurable economic and health outcomes, including, but not limited to,
increases in sales and consumption of locally sourced and other fresh fruits and vegetables,
the number of construction and retail jobs retained or created, and any health initiatives
associated with the program.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2017 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of agriculture to be deposited in the good food access account created in
Minnesota Statutes, section 17.1017, subdivision 3. This appropriation shall be added to
the agency's base.
new text end