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Proposed House Farm Bill Increases Access to Produce with Frozen Food

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The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) welcomed the release last week of proposed text for the 2024 Farm Bill, issued by the House Agriculture Committee.The bill released by the House Agriculture Committee encourages USDA to give equal consideration to all forms of produce in programs funded through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The Farm Bill text also specifically includes requiring all forms of fruits and vegetables, including frozen produce, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Produce Prescription Program. These provisions were first included in H.R. 3127, the Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce (SHOPP) Act, introduced in 2023 by Representatives Mark Alford (R-MO-4) and Jasmine Crockett (D-TX-30). The bipartisan SHOPP Act is overwhelmingly supported with 30 House co-sponsors and five Senate co-sponsors of the companion bill, S. 2223, led by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). “At a time when our country is in a produce consumption crisis, it is essential for our federal nutrition programs to be practical and offer support for all Americans,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. “We thank Chairman Thompson and the entire House Agriculture Committee for their work to make produce consumption easier thanks to the expansion of frozen food in nutrition programs.”Research finds that consumers who eat frozen fruits and vegetables eat more total fruits and vegetables than others. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are fresh-frozen within hours of harvest, capturing nutrients and taste while minimizing food waste in the home.   “As both chambers enter into conference, AFFI urges Congress to preserve this important legislative language that includes frozen food,” added Bodor. “We are hopeful that Congress acts quickly to finalize a Farm Bill that provides practical nutrition solutions.”About AFFIThe American Frozen Food Institute is the member-driven national trade association representing all segments of the frozen food supply chain from manufacturers to suppliers and distributors. AFFI advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf, serves as the voice for the industry and convenes industry leadership to create an environment where frozen foods are essential in a dynamic marketplace.     

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