U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, introduced in the U.S. House on Wednesday the Supermarket Tax Credit for Underserved Areas Act. The bill provides tax incentives for the establishment of grocery stores in urban and rural areas that don’t have convenient access to fresh food. Cohen said a lack of healthy food choices can contribute to a decline in health.
“For more than 23 million Americans living in communities such as parts of Memphis that lack access to fresh food and vegetables, a food desert is not a mirage but a reality,” Cohen said in a news release.
The measure addresses this problem by increasing the rehabilitation tax credit for supermarkets in urban and rural areas. It would provide a credit for sales of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
The bill also increases the work employment tax credit to encourage hiring of disadvantaged youth, community residents and veterans.