Authors: Senator Randall Head
Co-authors: Senator Jean Breaux, Senator John Broden, Senator Lonnie Randolph
Establishes the food desert grant program (program) within the state department of health (ISDH) to assist new and existing retail businesses in offering fresh and unprocessed foods within a "food desert" (an underserved geographic area where affordable fresh and healthy foods are difficult to obtain, as determined by the ISDH). Provides that a grant awarded under the program may be used to construct a new retail grocery store or to renovate, expand, or upgrade an existing retail business that increases the availability and quality of fresh produce and other healthy foods. Requires the ISDH to consider certain criteria when determining whether to award a grant and requires the recipient of a grant to abide by certain terms and conditions. Establishes the food deserts fund for purposes of awarding grants under the program. Appropriates $15,000,000 from the state general fund to the food deserts fund for purposes of the program. Requires the ISDH to report on the program annually to the general assembly.