Our efforts to bring healthy food to every corner of New Jersey may have stalled briefly in September, when Governor Christie conditionally vetoed the Healthy Small Food Retailer Act, but our work to improve healthy food access in NJ continues!
hero_image_alt_text===An elderly woman getting help with fruit at a market.
The legislation was reintroduced in January. It would provide training, educational materials, equipment and other resources to small food retailers in communities that lack access to supermarkets so that healthy, fresh food could be sold in these small stores. The bill also allocates funds needed for these resources. Many communities that lack grocery stores also lack accessible transportation options to travel to far off grocery stores and often small corner stores are the only shopping option. Providing the needed resources is a cost-effective way to get healthy food into neighborhoods where it is needed and it also stimulates the economy by providing a boost to small, local businesses.
SNAP and WIC are important programs that address issues of healthy food affordability. However, these programs do little good if those who receive benefits cannot access healthy food.
We will continue to advocate for this important legislation and educate the public and decision-makers on the value of healthy food access programs in all corners of New Jersey.