U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the introduction of the Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security Act (H.R. 5173), legislation that would establish two new programs to bolster urban agriculture in communities across the nation. Joining Rep. Rush in introducing the legislation were U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
The Urban Agriculture Conservation Easement Program, authorized at $20 million annually, would protect urban lands for food production and conservation and ensure affordable long-term access to lands for agricultural uses. The Urban Agriculture Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, authorized at $3 million annually, would provide small-dollar loans and grants to support the development and ongoing success of urban agriculture microenterprises. The legislation would also provide a $15 million annual boost to the Community Food Project Grant Program, which is designed to fight food insecurity in low-income communities.
“Urban agriculture is the future of agriculture, and Chicago is already leading the way,” said Rep. Rush. “This legislation will provide a needed boost to urban agriculture programs across the nation, making it easier for individuals to protect land for urban farming and obtain funding for urban agriculture enterprises. Investing in urban agriculture can help us make tremendous progress towards addressing food insecurity and the public health issues that result from a lack of healthy food, which are prevalent in too many communities in the Chicagoland area, and particularly in communities of color. I am proud to be a champion of urban agriculture in the House Agriculture Committee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.”
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