Forget trying to wrap your head around a complicated bipartisan healthcare plan. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with Michelle Obama are doing something that actually makes good common sense. They are launching a $400 million Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) that will bring decent grocery stores into the inner cities.
“Food deserts,” or a lack of grocery stores selling affordable, good food, is a huge problem. Convenience stores and fast food restaurants on every corner (read: easy access to fries, shakes, potato chips, soda, candy bars, other crap) cannot sustain healthy, happy dinner tables. There have been all kinds of creative solutions to address this problem, from teaching inner-city kids how to grow their own food, such as Boston’s The Food Project, to trucking in more fresh produce, such as Detroit’s Peaches & Greens.
But kids can’t grow tomatoes all year round in Boston and food trucks have their limits. It just makes more sense to build better, more accessible grocery stores for those of us who live downtown and create jobs in the process. Bravo for a simple plan!