SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to increase access to healthier foods, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring two bills that would waive fees on vehicles that deliver food to residents who live in food deserts and allow for the creation of local Urban Agriculture Zones (UAZ).
“Food deserts are typically found in minority communities where residents do not have access to healthy foods,” said Harper. “As a former director of Grow Greater Englewood, I worked to eliminate food deserts by increasing healthy food access, and with these proposals, we will be closer to accomplishing that goal.”
Harper is the chief sponsor of House Bill 3107 and House Bill 3148. The first proposal would require the City of Chicago to waive all permit, registration, licensing and operating fees for vehicles that transport food to food deserts. Much like other urban agricultural initiatives Harper is sponsoring this year, her other proposal would allow for county and municipal governments to create UAZ boards. These boards would be responsible for finding the best ways to grow food in areas affected by a lack of access to quality foods. Harper’s measures will work in tandem to eliminate food deserts by reducing costs and enhancing community engagement.
“There should not be any costs, fees or taxes on the delivery trucks that bring healthy foods to residents who live in food deserts. There also should not be obstacles hindering collaborative efforts to establish an entity that is dedicated to eliminating food deserts,” said Harper. “These initiatives will improve peoples’ lives and empower local residents to buy their own locally grown, healthy foods.”
Visit Rep Harper’s website
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-6370 FAX
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6584 FAX