We have some exciting news to share! A bi-partisan group in the US House of Representatives took an important step to improve access to healthy foods and create jobs in low-income communities across America.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and 20 co-sponsors just introduced a resolution in support of a National Fresh Food Financing Initiative (NFFFI), based on a highly successful program in Pennsylvania. (Read the full resolution here.)
In partnership with The Food Trust and The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink has been working on Capitol Hill for more than a year to lift up this remarkable effort and bring it to national scale.
With 27 million Americans without access to fresh, affordable food – and poor and minority communities getting the worst of the problem – a national effort to expand and build grocery stores, farmers markets, and other healthy food retail in needy communities could be just the kind of bi-partisan, triple-bottom-line solution we need.
In just the past five years, the Pennsylvania public-private partnership has turned $30 million of state investment into 4,800 jobs, 78 new or expanded fresh-food markets, more than $150 million in additional private investment, and 400,000 people with improved access to fresh, healthy food. (Read how the program works here)
This Congressional resolution is just the first step, though. We anticipate a bill creating the NFFFI will be introduced in the Senate in early 2010. We need your help to make that happen.