TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to expand fresh food options in the state’s food deserts – areas that lack access to affordable, healthy foods – by helping to meet the financing needs of supermarket operators seeking to locate in urban areas has been approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The legislation (S-3089), called the “Fresh Food Access Act,” is designed to provide fresh food options to residents in urban areas by creating a program to facilitate the award of loans and grants to supermarket operators looking to open in areas where there is a demonstrated lack of availability of fresh foods.
“For many residents, obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables is as simple as taking a quick drive to one of the neighborhood grocery stores. But in some of our cities, large grocery stores don’t exist,” said Senator Norcross. “This financing initiative will help supermarket operators open in our urban areas, creating access to fresh and healthy foods for residents where availability is currently limited. It will also help to spur economic development in our urban areas and create much-needed jobs.”