Jerry Moran is one of four bipartisan senators this week introducing a bill aimed at putting an end to food deserts.
A food desert is an area that lacks grocery stores, farmers markets and healthy food providers. A food desert in an urban community includes areas one mile or further from their nearest grocery store. In rural areas, it's 10 or more miles from the nearest grocery store.
The bill introduced this week, the Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act, creates tax credits and grants for businesses and non-profits that serve areas in food deserts. In order to qualify for this, businesses must be certified as "special access food providers" by the treasury department and the USDA.
The Department of Agriculture estimates about 37 million Americans live in food deserts.
“Living in the breadbasket of our nation, we can often forget how prevalent hunger and the lack of access to healthy food in our own communities can be,” Sen. Moran said. “However, hunger and food insecurity are very real and threaten nearly 1 in 6 Kansans. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would incentivize food providers to establish themselves in communities where people lack access to healthy, affordable food by encouraging the construction and establishment of grocery stores, food banks and farmers markets. All Kansans and Americans, regardless of where they live, deserve access to healthy food.”