Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced today that her bill to establish the Retail Food Stores in Underserved Areas Task Force has passed the Assembly (A.7873).
When I took office, one issue that constituents often shared with me was the lack of retail food stores in their rural communities, said Assemblywoman Woerner. For many of the residents of my districts rural areas, like the Town of Salem, there are no local full-service grocery stores and this task force is the first step in addressing this important issue.
Access to healthy foods in underserved communities across New York State is a growing concern. The barriers to opening and maintaining a full-service supermarket or other retail food business are significant, and have led to limited access to healthy foods in many communities. This is a problem in both rural and urban areas of New York, due to higher prices for healthier food and increased expenditures for transportation to access these foods.
The Retail Food Stores in Underserved Areas Task Force will serve to identify and evaluate these barriers, and seek means to better assist food retail businesses in navigating the path to establishment. By assisting these businesses, upstate New Yorks rural communities will gain access to more affordable and nutritious foods, which will both improve their quality of life and limit negative impacts on public health and associated medical costs. Encouraging the development of local retail food stores also benefits farmers by expanding the market for their products, noted Assemblywoman Woerner.
Healthy food at a reasonable price is a necessity for the members of our rural communities, said Assemblywoman Woerner. I am working hard every day to advocate for the residents of the 113th Assembly District, and I am proud to help ensure that they have access to fresh, affordable food.