Ohio Congressman Co-sponsors Bill to Reduce U.S. Food Deserts

Nov 7, 2017

A map documents the problem of food deserts in Cuyahoga County. Food deserts are an issue in both urban and rural areas.
Credit CUYAHOGA COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH

Ohio congressman Tim Ryan is joining a bipartisan effort to address the problem of food deserts.

The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would set up a system of tax credits and grants for businesses providing healthy food options to low-income urban and rural areas.

Ryan says food deserts have a big impact on health, and that has a big impact on the economy.


"So I think that if we put a little more money up front for prevention, and then I think we will save a lot of money in the long run on the healthcare costs. But at the end of the day it’s about having businesses that can make a profit, and if we can use the tax code in order to do that and get our people healthy, that’s a win-win for the taxpayer and that’s a win-win for the families who can stay healthy and go to work."

To qualify, about a third of the store’s selections must include fresh produce, poultry, dairy and deli items. New stores will get a onetime 15 percent tax credit, while existing stores that improve their offerings will receive a onetime 10 percent tax credit.