On Monday February 12, 2018, the White House released the Infrastructure Plan and the updated Budget Proposal. A U.S. cleantech company has issued press releases in regards to each. Click here for the infrastructure Plan Press Release and see below for the Budget Proposal Press Release:
Press Release Headline: U.S. LED Manufacturer, Independence LED Lighting, Offers A Pilot Program to Support the Proposed Food Stamp (SNAP) Concept in President Trump’s Budget Proposal.
Greater Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 14, 2018 - Independence LED Lighting (www.IndependenceLED.com) is pleased to announce that it is “shovel ready” for a pilot program in Philadelphia to support proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), included in the President’s Budget FY 2019. On Monday, February 12, 2018, the White House unveiled the updated budget which has a path to include “American grown foods provided directly to households.” The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said that the administration’s plan would not only save the government money, but also provide people with more nutritious food than they have now.
The concept of an “America’s Harvest Box,” delivered each month as part of the SNAP program, is based on volume purchasing to reduce unit costs. More than 16 million American households currently receive some form of assistance though SNAP. Individually, they do not have the buying power that would come with government volume purchases. The logistics of the proposed program are naturally very complicated, and detractors should not dismiss the idea outright. With economies of scale, SNAP recipients could receive more nutritious food at lower costs.
Cost-effective change involves challenging the status quo, and we are pleased to leverage our American made technology to launch a pilot project that will demonstrate the benefits of next-generation ‘Future Food’ for SNAP recipients.
Charlie Szoradi, Independence LED Lighting, Chairman and CEO
Independence LED Lighting is one of the first authentic Buy American Act (BAA) Compliant LED lighting manufacturers. Since moving its production from China to southeastern Pennsylvania in 2010, the company has provided its U.S. made light-emitting diode (LED) technology across the public and private sector. Building owners and mangers typically save 50% or more on electricity, and Independence LED Lighting also has developed advanced LED grow lights to optimize indoor farming. In conjunction with indoor farm partners, the company produces vegetables at lower costs than Americans pay at grocery stores. By adjusting the light wavelengths of its LEDs, the company can enhance growth by plant type and optimize Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPDF).
After more than two years of Research and Development (R&D), on Tuesday November 28, 2017, the first consumer received, via overnight mail, the first delivery of live microgreens at 20% below grocery store cost, including the shipping cost! Microgreens are an excellent addition to any diet, because they often have 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts. The “live” aspect is important in this example, because the vegetables last over two weeks in home refrigerators and retain more of their nutrients than harvested produce. Local delivery would replace overnight shipping for the majority of the SNAP program, given that one or more indoor farms would be in or near each major U.S. city. In addition to the food and cost advantages for the government and SNAP recipients, American manufacturing, indoor farming, and produce delivery all help create more job opportunities for SNAP recipients. Domestic job creation is naturally the top aspect of President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order, signed on April 18, 2017.
Imagine that there is not necessarily just one “American Harvest Box” for each family each month, but multiple drop-shipments from a coalition of private sector companies. The participating companies provide “farm-direct” and “factory-direct” food to the families. Perishable vegetables are not referenced as part of the “box” concept in the budget, but many SNAP families live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce. These “food deserts” are a health challenge for Americans. Independence LED Lighting envisions starting with an indoor farm pilot program in Philadelphia and then rolling out to each major metropolitan market. Local indoor farms reduce transportation costs. Currently, California produces over 90% of the vegetables in the U.S., so reducing 2,000 miles down to under 20 miles is one of the very real ways to generate savings. Plus, indoor farming is “weather-proof” for year-round harvesting that is fresh vs “truck ripened.” The reduced transportation also reduces CO2 emissions, for cleaner air and environmental sustainability. For the pilot program, Independence LED Lighting will use veggie drop-off days as opportunities to share health tips and recipes. The program will also train SNAP recipients for new jobs, build a youth mentor program for next-generation “ambassadors” of healthy living, and provide reports on performance metrics. The intended outcome is lower cost food, healthier food, engaged members of the community, and measurable results.
Independence LED Lighting delivers energy intelligent buildings and next-generation indoor agriculture, that are forged in America. The company encourages the Trump Administration to initiate multiple pilot programs across a range of food types and geographic areas. President Trump has encouraged private sector participation in the Infrastructure Plan (Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America - released on February 12, 2018), and the administration can now do the same to help fellow Americans in need of food assistance. Stronger buildings and stronger bodies go well together. Greater Philadelphia Headquarters: 484-588-5401 More: www.IndependenceLED.com.