This system would goal the meals wasteland in northwest Jacksonville Jax Day by day Document | Jacksonville Day by day Document

The city of Jacksonville is proposing to develop programs to make high quality fresh food available and affordable in northwest Jacksonville, which is considered a food wasteland due to the lack of access to healthy options.

The city council plans to review Ordinance 2019-245 to pass the Full-Service Grocery Store Program to find solutions to bring grocery stores and educational programs to northwest Jacksonville.

It follows Ordinance 2018-195, which allocated $ 3 million from the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund to develop programs to improve affordability, education, and promote access to healthy food.

This regulation was issued in March 2018.

Some of the money was used to hire a consultant to assess the food deserts of northwest Jacksonville and recommend incentive programs for long-term solutions.

Northwest Jacksonville has the largest concentration of food deserts in Jacksonville.

The ordinance states that nearly 180,000 people in Jacksonville are “food unsafe and that 37% of the food desert census areas in Jacksonville (15 out of 40) are in northwest Jacksonville.

The US Department of Agriculture defines a food wasteland as “a geographic area with no access to the fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods normally found in impoverished areas, largely due to the lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers. ”

The lack of healthy food means that residents may have to rely on less healthy foods.

The city’s Department of Economic Development hired T. Brown Consulting Group LLC of Fernandina Beach in August to produce the study of food deserts and grocery stores in northwest Jacksonville. The contract cannot exceed $ 105,000.

The study defined Northwest Jacksonville as the parishes north of Interstate 10 and west of North Main Street including Eastside.

This study should help the city develop incentive programs for supermarkets.

T. Brown analyzed the food desert areas, held community meetings, spoke to elected officials, and reviewed studies of cities similar to Jacksonville.

The group recommended strategies for attracting and retaining grocery stores. Delivery and access to food; and expanding the supply of healthy foods in existing stores.

The new store attraction and retention program proposes providing financial incentives to attract full-service grocery stores by reducing development or operating costs.

The Delivery and Grocery Access program provides incentives for stores that offer online grocery delivery purchases, as well as ridesharing for customers to shop in person.

The expanded inventory program suggests creating incentives to increase the number of stores that offer healthy food inventory, such as convenience stores, dollar stores, and drug stores.

The ordinance arose from the study and pilot programs developed by OED as part of the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund programs.

OED would monitor the programs.

The office is also considering four pilot programs:

• The delivery initiative program, which aims to reduce the cost of fresh food deliveries.

• The transportation program that allows transportation to full-service grocery stores.

• The expanded inventory offering program, which incentivizes food desert businesses to sell healthy food options.

• The Mobile Market program, which aims to support mobile markets in providing healthy food to the region.

OED later plans to recommend additional pilot programs proposed in the report.

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