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Scott Approves A Lower-Cost Cure For Food Deserts

Many poor and low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to affordable, healthy foods. Gov. Rick Scott approved a $500,000 appropriation for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to coordinate existing grants to renovate mom-and-pop stores.
Many poor and low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to affordable, healthy foods. Gov. Rick Scott approved a $500,000 appropriation for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to coordinate existing grants to renovate mom-and-pop stores.

Governor Rick Scott signed off Thursday on a measure designed to eradicate so-called “food deserts.”

Many poor and low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to affordable, healthy foods. Gov. Rick Scott approved a $500,000 appropriation for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to coordinate existing grants to renovate mom-and-pop stores.
Many poor and low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to affordable, healthy foods. Gov. Rick Scott approved a $500,000 appropriation for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to coordinate existing grants to renovate mom-and-pop stores.

The bill by Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, provides incentives for mom-and-pop stores in high-poverty areas to sell healthy food.

“The bill directs DACS, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create a program designed to target these areas economically, and create incentives that will help promote access to these foods.”

Sponsors asked for a one-time appropriation of $5 million dollars, but legislative leaders whittled it down to $500,000.

Department officials will be required to coordinate federal and non-profit programs. The American Heart Association supported the bill.

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