July 12, 2017
in Healthy Food Access
More than 1.8 million Alabamians, including nearly half-a-million children, live in areas with limited access to grocers and other fresh food retailers. But that is changing with recent progress in funding the Alabama Healthy Food Financing Program!
In 2016, VOICES for Alabama’s Children led efforts to create the Alabama Healthy Food Financing Initiative Study Commission through Senate Joint Resolution 105. Under the leadership of Senator Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper), the Alabama Legislature took unprecedented action to address the growing issue of food access. As a result, three successful meetings of the Study Commission, facilitated by Melanie Bridgeforth, VOICES for Alabama’s Children’s Executive Director and Co-Chair of the Study Commission, were held. The goal of the Study Commission was to determine a best scan of practices for Alabama’s Healthy Food Financing program, consult with retailers and other experts to identify potential grocery store and food retail projects, develop a pipeline of projects and to report the findings and recommendations to the Alabama Legislature in 2017.
This year, as a result of Senator Singleton’s leadership, Alabama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (ALHFFI) received a commitment for an initial state investment of $300,000 to fund projects and communities across the state. This is a huge win for kids and communities!