© 2022 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
NPR For Central California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill would require California institutions to buy American-made food

Laura S. Diaz
The Fresno Bee
California State Senator Anna Caballero speaks during a press conference in support of the Buy American Food Act on Sept. 14, 2022 at Sun-Maid Growers of California headquarters in Fresno. She's the lead author of the Act (SB 490) and was part of the joint effort with farmers and farmworkers where they called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign the bill.

State Sen. Ana Caballero visited Fresno this week to pressure Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign Senate Bill 490, or the Buy American Food Act. If implemented, all state public institutions that receive federal reimbursements for meals would be required to only purchase products grown, packed or processed in the United States.

Caballero says the law would help California growers remain competitive with overseas producers, ensure high food safety standards and support Valley farmworkers. She says this measure is common sense policy.

“SB 490 ensures that our school children access American grown food products under the strictest safety standards in the world,” Caballero says.

The California School Boards Association opposes the measure. In a statement, CEO and president Vernon M. Billy says it will “place costly restrictions on schools and strip them of options in the marketplace.”

In response to that concern, Caballero says the bill will include additional revenue to help schools cover the extra costs.

Newsom is expected to make a decision on the legislation by the end of the month.

This story is part of the Central Valley News Collaborative, which is supported by the Central Valley Community Foundation with technology and training support by Microsoft Corp.

Esther Quintanilla reports on diverse communities for KVPR through the Central Valley News Collaborative, which includes The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, KVPR and Radio Bilingüe.