Healthy Foods Mandated at Blind Vending Facilities
American Council of the Blind
This organization should be prepared, as appropriate, to support its affiliate, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA) in articulating for policymakers the unique challenges faced by blind vendors that would make the imposition of a healthy snack sales requirement unduly burdensome.
WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard Act was signed into law in 1936, thereby creating the most successful entrepreneurial program for blind persons by affording blind business owners the right to operate vending facilities on federal properties; and
WHEREAS, many states have passed mini-Randolph-Sheppard laws which extend similar rights to blind vendors on state and local government properties; and
WHEREAS, these blind entrepreneurs pay millions annually in sales taxes to states and millions in set-aside fees that allow these state agencies to draw down millions in federal dollars; and
WHEREAS, as independent business owners, blind vendors are generally free to sell the products that their customers want to purchase; and
WHEREAS, Randolph-Sheppard vendors in many states are continuing to face legislative proposals which attempt to force Randolph-Sheppard vendors to sell up to 100% healthy food, snacks, and beverages; and
WHEREAS, when facilities provide healthy snacks, they have a much higher product cost because of the shorter shelf life of healthy products; and
WHEREAS, many vendors' suppliers do not offer a sufficient variety of healthy snacks; and
WHEREAS, consequently, a blanket requirement to carry a sizable percentage of healthy snacks would be a huge disadvantage for blind vendors in many facilities;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 11th day of July, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, that this organization urge policymakers at the federal, state and local levels not to impose healthy snack sales requirements that would have a disproportionate negative impact on the livelihood of blind vendors; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization be prepared, as appropriate, to support its affiliate, the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), in articulating for policymakers the unique challenges faced by blind vendors that would make the imposition of a healthy snack sales requirement unduly burdensome.
Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary