Veasey Introduces Bill to Make Healthy Food Options Attainable For All
Washington, D.C. – As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday we must remember the many Americans who live with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. That is why Congressman Marc Veasey introduced H.R. 6343, the Farmers Markets for Food Deserts Act, to ensure that families living in food deserts have reliable access to fresh and nutritious foods year-round.
The Farmers Markets for Food Deserts Act would help encourage the creation of healthy food options by allowing farmers market vendors in food deserts to deduct the sales of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and grains from their federal taxes. In addition, the bill allows permit fees paid by farmers market organizers to obtain the space for markets in food deserts to be eligible for priority grants from the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).
“Being able to make healthy and nutritious meals for our families is critical to eliminating health disparities in our community,” said Congressman Marc Veasey. “By providing incentives to local farmers to participate in farmers markets, we have the ability to ensure everyone can attain healthy habits.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), approximately 29.7 million people live in areas that are more than 1 mile away from a supermarket. Nearly 31 million children 17 and under (from families of all income levels) live further than a mile from a grocery store or food retailer that regularly supplies fresh fruit and vegetables. In both urban and rural neighborhoods, a healthy diet may be hard to obtain due to a lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. In addition to a lack of affordable and healthy foods, many of these individuals without access to an automobile are forced to rely on convenience stores, corner delis and quickie marts that provide a wealth of processed foods such as snack cakes, chips, and soda.