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Alabama is the 5th most obese state in country, according to an article in Alabama News. While there are many ways to combat obesity, especially in children, a few state legislators and advocacy groups are hoping they’ve got part of the solution.
In early April, state legislators introduced the Alabama Healthy Food Financing Act, which will enable grocers to receive low-interest rate financing from private foundations or federal grants and loans to locate or expand in low or moderate income areas of the state.
The legislation would also support co-ops, farmers markets and food trucks.
If passed, the bill would direct the Department of Agriculture and Industries to administer the financing program and would create eligibility guidelines and provide financing through an application process. Funding could be used for the construction of new grocery stores and store renovations and expansion that improves the availability of fresh produce or health healthy foods.
Stores would have to devote 30 percent of floor space to perishable foods.
Latino neighborhoods tend to have fewer stores that carry fresh produce than White neighborhoods. Incentives to bring more healthy food to neighborhoods in Alabama is one way to encourage healthier eating in these communities.
Read more about the proposed healthy food financing initiative here.
UPDATE January 2016: Alabama Implements Healthy Food Financing Programs http://bit.ly/1KuCe4j
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