Food & Recipe

Renewal of Deserts: The Healthy Food Help Program

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A food desert is described by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a location that is “vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods.”Food deserts are marked by census system and the main definition considers distance to a grocery store and average family income and census tract hardship levels.A Florida

TaxWatch analysis of information presented in the USDA’s 2015 Food Access Research Study Atlas suggests that about 26 percent of Floridians fulfill the USDA’s food desert range criteria– that is, they live further than one mile from a supermarket (or 10 miles if they remain in a rural census tract). Over 8 percent of Floridians, or about 1.6 million residents, fit both the distance and earnings requirements of a food desert.Last month, Florida TaxWatch released a report documenting the negative effect of food deserts on health and property values.This report particularly suggested the facility of”monetary instruments that make grant and loan money available for food retail projects to increase the presence of supermarket and supermarkets in the locations that lack access to healthy foods.”The Healthy Food Support Program legislation( SB 1592)introduced by Senators Bean and Baxley, is in direct line with Florida TaxWatch’s recommendation.The Healthy Food Assistance Program looked for to establish a process by which small food retailers can receive grant support for jobs that increase the schedule of healthy foods in food deserts.SB 1592 was unanimously authorized by the Agriculture Subcommittee and the Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, landing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.A comparable house expense( HB 1083), introduced by Agent Lee, made it through the Farming and Residential Or Commercial Property Rights Subcommittee however was not placed on the program in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.While it is unlikely this program will be authorized this session, Florida TaxWatch motivates Florida legislators to thoroughly consider the benefits of the Healthy Food Help program for next session.In order to maintain and enhance their health, Floridians need to be able to access inexpensive, healthy foods, no matter where they live.

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