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News Briefs - Broadband in rural America | Fresh produce to disadvantaged
AFBF backs bill to expand broadband in rural America
American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to help ensure rural Americans have the same access to high-speed broadband Internet services that Americans in more populated areas enjoy.
H.R. 5828 (Universal Service Reform Act of 2010) would declare broadband Internet a universal service, which would allow for direct support from the Universal Service Fund (USF). AFBF President Bob Stallman recently sent a letter to lawmakers stating the USF should be used for long-term broadband deployment.
“Affordability is a critical component to broadband use in rural America because rural household incomes are typically lower than those in more populated regions of the nation,” Stallman said. “In rural areas where broadband service is available, our members have reported that the service is beyond the financial means of many residents in their communities.”
Wholesome Wave ensures fresh produce to disadvantaged
Former Agriculture Undersecretary Gus Schumacher now chairs Wholesome Wave, a foundation that works with farmers’ markets to ensure that disadvantaged consumers have access to fresh produce.
“What we do is look at nutrition and how can we work with farmers and have farmers become healthy food hubs. There are 40 million people on food stamps now that’s costing about $70 billion. Our foundation doubles food stamps and WIC vouchers at a farmers’ market. People on food stamps can eat healthy, eat fresh, eat local and nourish their neighborhood,” Schumacher said. Currently there are 160 farmers markets in 20 states participating in the Wholesome Wave voucher program.