Summary: S.679 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.679. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (04/09/2013)

Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 - Amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 regarding the supplemental food assistance program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program) to include as a retail store an agricultural producer marketing agricultural products directly to consumers.

Requires participating retailers to pay 100% of the costs of acquiring, and arranging for the implementation of, electronic benefit transfer (EBT) point-of-sale equipment and supplies. Allows exemptions, including for farmers' markets, direct farmer-to-consumer marketing outlets, military commissaries, nonprofit food buying cooperatives, and group living arrangements. Ends manual vouchers, except as necessary.

Establishes a pilot program to test mobile technologies for SNAP transactions.

Permits using benefits to purchase a community-supported agriculture share.

Provides for a five-state grant pilot program to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to schools and service institutions participating in food service programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Permits each school food authority with a low annual commodity entitlement value to elect to substitute locally and regionally grown and raised food for the authority's allotment of commodity assistance for the school lunch program, subject to specified conditions.

Increases funding for community food projects and the seniors farmers' market nutrition program.

Revises the hunger-free community provisions, including by prohibiting state or local sales taxes and providing specified mandatory funding through FY2018.

Amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to establish a Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children. Establishes a special initiative within the Research, Education, and Extension Office to coordinate Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant and animal breeding research.

Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to provide for guaranteed loans to eligible producers for the production of locally or regionally produced agricultural food products. Gives loan priority to projects that will increase access to locally or regionally grown food in underserved communities, create new market opportunities for local or regional agricultural producers, or support regional economic and community development.

Amends the Farm Credit Act of 1971 to include assistance for the production of locally or regionally produced agricultural food products.

Amends the the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act to expand the scope of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Amends the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976 to reference locally and regionally produced agricultural products and give priority to projects that benefit underserved communities. Authorizes appropriations through FY2018.

Amends the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 to specify making grants for locally or regional produced agricutural products. Provides for grants through FY2018.

Provides for a study on local food production and program evaluation.

Requires the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to: (1) conduct activities or enter into contracts to carry out research and development for a whole farm risk management insurance plan, and (2) offer organic crop producers price elections for all organic crops that reflect actual retail and wholesale prices.

Provides, with regard to the agricultural management assistance program, for: (1) nationwide program expansion, (2) organic certification cost assistance, and (3) funding through FY2018.