SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, expands access to fresh and healthy foods for low-income residents.
“Many people throughout my district and across Illinois do not have good access to healthy and nutritious foods, which means they are forced to buy unhealthy foods at local gas stations and convenience stores,” said Harper. “Municipalities will now have the information needed in order to make sure they are providing residents with quality food options.”
Harper’s House Bill 3157 requires the Department of Public Health to work with municipalities to identify and report locations that are food deserts. A food desert is an area where residents lack adequate access to healthy and affordable foods such as fruits and vegetables. As a former executive director of Grow Greater Englewood, Harper is focused on investing in and creating local healthy food systems that in turn may stimulate local economies, bringing in new businesses and jobs and ultimately improve public health.
“We need to encourage more farmers markets, grocery stores, bakeries and others reputable food retailers and producers to open up shop in and sell their affordable products to people living in food deserts,” said Harper. “I will continue to fight to make sure we provide healthy and affordable food options for all residents as well as continue to collaborate with others to eliminate food deserts across Illinois.”
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