SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –To expand access to fresh and healthy foods to low-income residents, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would help eliminate food deserts.

“Many people in my district are left to purchase their groceries at convenience stores and gas stations that do not have high standards for foods and many times don’t stock fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Harper. “Eating only processed foods because that is all that is available puts the health of my residents on the line. Now, more than ever, it is absolutely critical that more investments are made in creating local healthy food systems and in supporting the expansion of urban agriculture, which will help alleviate food insecurity in food deserts.”

Harper is the chief sponsor of House Bill 3157, which asks the Department of Agriculture to work with municipalities on identifying and tracking food deserts, which is an area where residents lack adequate access to healthy foods. Harper is attempting to bring healthy food options to portions of her district by working with grocery stores and farmers markets and by investing in projects that support sustainable urban agriculture. This would help residents who live in food deserts obtain healthier and more affordable foods in order to have a better quality of life and health.

“We must encourage farmers markets, supermarkets and other reputable food retailers to open in food deserts and overall we must get better at investing in low-income, working-class, minority communities especially when it comes to something so crucial as healthy food access,” said Harper.

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

Visit Rep Harper’s website

Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX