State Senators and local representatives are in Austin hoping to give families who live in food desert communities more healthy options.
According to the USDA, a food desert is an area where access to affordable, healthy food options is limited or nonexistent because of quality grocery stores are too far away. Roughly 23.5 million people live in food deserts in the United States.
The majority of food deserts are in low-income areas. There are 40 food desert communities in the city of Dallas.
There are four bills in the Texas Legislative Session that address food deserts:
• Senate Bill 723 Creates a community development grocery store and healthy corner store revolving loan fund program. The fund would not be allocated money from the legislature, but would be composed of grants, private funds, plus income earned from the loans
• House Bill 3324 Relating to the establishment of a grocery access investment fund program, the Texas Grocery Access Investment Fund
• HB 3299 Relating to a franchise tax credit for entities that establish a grocery store or healthy corner store in a food desert
• SB 700 Reduces property taxes on small tracts of land used for sustainable farming purposes