For the past year, we have been working on creating a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in South Carolina and now, we need your help!

We have $250,000 in the budget passed by the General Assembly for HFFI, which could be vetoed by the governor as early as this afternoon. We are hopeful that the Governor will support this critical funding, but we are asking supporters of the S.C. Healthy Food Financing initiative to be proactive and contact their House and Senate member by email or phone today and ask them to override a possible veto of this funding.

To determine who your state representative and senator are, please go to this link:  http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php

Once you put your address in this link, you will be provided with the names of your S.C. state senator and S.C. state representative.  If you click on their names, it will pull up the contact information for each individual.  If you call their offices and are unable to speak directly to them, please leave a message with their staff asking your representative and your senator to support overriding the Governor’s possible veto on HFFI.

We invite you to use the following talking points or deliver your own personal message in asking your state senator and state representative to support this funding:

  • The S.C. HFFI will be a public-private partnership that will support local farmers and businesses by providing access to loans and grants to support the establishment, renovation or expansion of different food projects, including farm businesses, mobile markets, small food stores and grocery stores
  • These projects will focus on communities where residents do not have ready access to affordable, health foods (over one million S.C. citizens live in such areas of our state)
  • Investing in these local communities will spur economic development, create jobs and increase the property values of the neighborhoods
  • Research shows the lack of healthy affordable food options is a contributing factor to the high rate of obesity in our state
  • Taxpayers in S.C. bear the costs of obesity-related health issues of our citizens, whether through higher insurance premiums, or Medicare or Medicaid expenses –costs well in excess of over a billion dollars a year
  • Small farmers often need initial support in fostering the production, processing and sale of locally produced fruits and vegetables into local markets.  With a guaranteed market, farmers can begin to profit from their land, and South Carolina can rely less on producers outside the state for their food, becoming more self-reliant

Please Take 5 Minutes TODAY to make a phone call or send an email—your participation on this issue could make the difference! Feel free to contact Anna Hamilton, anna@sccommunityloanfund.org, with any questions.

Update 6/30/2015: The Governor vetoed the $250,000 for the S.C. Healthy Food Financing Initiative that was included in the budget passed by the S.C. General assembly on Monday which means we still need your help. Please contact your state Senators and Representatives before Friday and ask them to override Veto #34, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative.