TRENTON – A bill that promotes New Jersey fresh produce and seeks to combat so-called “food deserts,’’ communities without supermarkets or groceries, cleared the Senate Budget Committee today.
S2728, sponsored by Donald Norcross, (D-5), Camden/Gloucester, would authorize the state Agriculture Department to establish a statewide mobile farmers market program that would provide access to fresh produce.
The N.J. Fresh Mobiles Initiative would have the state establish standards for, and issue licenses to, vendors of such produce.
The amended bill would have the Agriculture secretary select three cities – one each from the northern, central, and southern portions of the state – and set up such fresh produce efforts.
Additional towns could be added at the secretary’s discretion.
The amended bill also provides that government-issued food vouchers from any state or federal nutrition or income assistance program may be used as payment for fruits and vegetables that are purchased from the vendors.