For Immediate Release: March 26, 2021
Contact: Lisa Etter, 573-751-0220
State Senator Doug Beck Presents Food Desert Tax Credit Bill to the Senate Economic Development Committee
JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis, presented his Senate Bill 188 to members of the Senate Economic Development Committee on March 23. The legislation authorizes a tax credit for the expenses associated with establishing full-service grocery stores in food deserts. These are areas without supermarkets or other sources of affordable and healthy food options within a half-mile radius in urban settings or a ten-mile radius in rural areas.
“This is a serious health inequity that impacts urban and rural areas alike,” explained Sen. Beck. “I believe this tax credit will pay for itself economically by creating new jobs and attracting grocery companies to invest in these neighborhoods. Through this legislation, we have the opportunity to improve the health outcomes of thousands of Missourians who cannot access nutritious foods because of where they live.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports 23 million people in America live in food deserts, and the lack of access to nutritional foods is a multi-generational, environmental health issue. The department’s map indicates Missouri’s food deserts are located throughout the state, as well as the two metropolitan areas.
For more information about Sen. Beck’s legislation, please visit senate.mo.gov/beck.