(June 30) The Healthy America Act, a veritable wish list of the fruit and vegetable industry, was introduced June 24 on Capitol Hill.

The main co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., and Dennis Cardoza D-Calif. United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association president Tom Stenzel spoke on behalf of the bill at an outdoor press conference in view of Capitol Hill.

“There is no more important issue facing our country than investing in our children to fight today’s alarming obesity and health crisis,” Stenzel said in statement. “Congressmen Putnam and Cardoza have shown great leadership in developing this comprehensive bill, and we salute them and the other co-sponsors who are joining in the fight to give children’s nutrition the priority it deserves.”

The act aims to increase availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in nutrition programs supported by the federal government and calls for expansion of the fruit and vegetable pilot program to all 50 states. Other items addressed in the bill include revision of the nutrition guidelines for the Women, Infants and Children program to include fresh fruits and vegetables.
It was unclear if a companion bill for the Healthy America Act was forthcoming from the Senate, but at least one element of the bill — expanding the fresh fruit and vegetable pilot program nationwide — was expected to find Senate sponsors the week of June 23.