Warner reintroduces legislation to eliminate food deserts: Augusta Free Press


Mark WarnerThe American senator Mark Warner (D-VA) was accompanied by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Bob Casey (D-PA) re-introducing two-party legislation to enhance entry to supermarkets in areas designated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as "food deserts" are designated.

The Access to wholesome food for all Americans (HFAAA) would profit low-income rural and concrete communities which have little or no entry to nutritious food by offering incentives to food enterprise suppliers resembling grocers, retailers and non-profit organizations which have entry to nutritious food in deprived folks broaden communities.

"Families in Virginia must be able to count on reliable access to healthy and affordable food wherever they live," stated Senator Warner. "This legislation will increase the availability of reliable and nutritious food for more than one million people in Virginia, and support supermarkets and non-profit organizations in their efforts to serve the communities that need them most."

"Living in the granary of our nation, it's easy to forget that chronic hunger still prevails in many of our own communities," stated Sen. Moran. "It is estimated that food insecurity threatens nearly 1 in 6 Kansans, and yet many supermarkets in both rural and urban communities are struggling to stay open. Our bipartisan approach to access to healthy food for all Americans would encourage food providers to move to supermarkets, food banks and farmers' markets. to establish and renovate in communities that traditionally do not have affordable and convenient food options. All Kansans and Americans, regardless of where they live, deserve access to healthy food. "

"On behalf of the seven regional food banks serving the Commonwealth, I want to thank Senator Warner for his leadership on the crucial point of food access. 900,000 Virginians live with the uncertainty that they may not be able to afford enough nutritious food throughout the year. Food deserts have a disproportionate effect on low-income communities, creating additional barriers for our neighbors to live a healthy, productive life.This legislation is a huge step in the right direction and offers huge opportunities to make new investments in communities that need it most to have, " stated Eddie Oliver, government director of the Virginia Food Banks Federation.

"Supporting the Healthy Food Access Act for all Americans is an important way to stimulate thriving communities. This program is a win-win situation, to the benefit of both food providers and the underprivileged communities that will patronize these stores, markets and food banks. Our investments to create more equitable access to food will not only yield long-term returns, not only for the health of the population, but also for the health of our communities, " stated Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, the Virginia Commissioner for Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"Having a source of good food close to home is crucial for the health and well-being of people at every stage of life. But for too many of our neighbors, that source is simply not there. Creating healthy, hunger-free communities by reducing food deserts is one of our key strategic priorities and we welcome the efforts of the federal government to support this important work in Northern Virginia and beyond, " stated Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

"We support Senator Warner's law to eradicate food desserts and food insecurity for families struggling to put affordable, fresh, nutritious food on the table. We appreciate everything he does to work for his voters, the people in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we know that giving us the opportunity to provide grants and incentives to the private, public and non-profit sectors will enable us to have nutrition centers and mobile food markets in areas where individuals "Don't have the flexibility to purchase reasonably priced and nutritious food. Feeding America SWVA helps and can work with Senator Warner to full the transition from this account," stated Pamela Irvine, President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

"In latest months we’ve taken a extra holistic method to sort out starvation in Southeast Virginia and the east coast. Reaching communities with restricted entry to recent produce and protein – particularly these in food deserts – has contributed to our mission. Through new collaborative efforts with healthcare organizations within the area, we’re diversifying our service supply mannequin to present extra nutritious food choices that may in the end enhance well being outcomes for our most weak households dealing with food insecurity, " stated Ruth Jones Nichols, CEO of the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

"Our neighbors residing in nutrient-rich deserts in our group face important obstacles to getting the food they want to lead a wholesome life-style and to handle and forestall power well being issues. This legislation supplies food suppliers with enormous incentives to serve low-income areas, to allow them to attain households in want and to make a constructive contribution to the well being of the group Access to wholesome food permits youngsters to develop and develop properly, seniors to reside independently, and households to meet all their fundamental family wants with out having to sacrifice meals or food, " stated Karen Joyner, CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.

"With about 50 % of the catchment space of ​​the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank in a food desert, entry to nutritious food is essential for fixing starvation. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) legislation will take significant steps to direct nutritious food choices make out there and alter the lives of 1000’s of individuals in search of a wholesome and hunger-free life, " stated Elizabeth Gilkey, Development Director at Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.

An estimated 37 million Americans at the moment reside in food-rich areas – areas with out supermarkets inside a number of miles in city areas, and ten or extra miles in rural areas. People who reside in communities with restricted entry to wholesome food choices have a better threat of weight problems, diabetes and coronary heart illness.

The HFAAA legislation – which defines a grocery market as a retail retailer with at the very least 35 % of the choice (or predicted choice) devoted to promoting recent produce, poultry, dairy merchandise and delicacies, would lead to investments in food deserts throughout the nation with a poverty price of 20 % or larger, or a median household earnings of lower than 80 % of the median for the state or city space. It would grant tax credit or subsidies to food suppliers that serve low-accessibility communities and acquire a "Special Access Food Provider" (SAFP) certification by means of the Treasury division. Incentives are awarded primarily based on the next construction:

  • New retailer building Companies that construct new supermarkets in a food desert obtain a one-off tax discount of 15 % after receiving certification.
  • Retrofitting of current buildings Companies making retrofits within the wholesome food part of an current retailer can obtain a one-off tax discount of 10 % after the repairs have licensed the shop as a SAFP.
  • Food Banks Certified food banks that construct new (everlasting) buildings in food deserts are eligible for a one-off subsidy for 15 % of their building prices.
  • Temporary entry to sellers Certified sellers of short-term entry (ie cellular markets, farmers' markets and a few food banks) who’re 501 (c) (3) s obtain subsidies for 10 % of their annual working prices.

Senator Warner has lengthy argued for the wholesome consuming and bodily well-being of households. Earlier this yr, he known as out for USDA to guarantee continued funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) within the midst of presidency closure.

The full textual content of the bill is on the market right here and there may be additionally a abstract right here. The legislation was beforehand launched within the 115th Congress. An analogous legislation is launched within the House by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

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