White House Pitches $400M for Healthier Neighborhood Food Outlets

The connection between walkable development and grocery shopping may not seem immediately apparent — until you consider studies conducted
in cities from Austin to Seattle that showed the share of trips taken
by foot or by transit rises as local food outlets move closer to
residential areas.

31193700_386561bcbd.jpgThe
White House budget envisions a new investment in urban farmers markets’
such as this one, which served D.C.’s low-income Anacostia area for two
years. (Photo: DC Food for All)

Even in transit-rich New York, a highly touted new Costco is laying off employees as shoppers avoid its not-too-walkable location. On the flip side, farmers’ markets are seeing new growth and serving more lower-income shoppers in Milwaukee, Oakland, and other areas.

Now the White House is getting in on the action, with $400 million included in
its fiscal year 2011 budget to support development of new food outlets
in urban communities where the nearest grocery store is often a
half-mile or more away — the neighborhoods that policymakers call "food deserts."

The White House proposal is modeled after a Pennsylvania effort that has steered more
than $57 million in grants and loans to develop 74 local food markets
in lower-income areas of the state. The Obama administration’s version
would be anchored by $250 million in New Market Tax Credits, which give
developers incentive to launch new projects in economically distressed
areas.

While the $400 million budget plan is not being
directed through the U.S. DOT, it could have a significant upside for
urban transportation officials looking to improve access to transit and
create new opportunities for walkability.

  • Nick

    Hunter’s Point has one grocery store for the whole neighborhood, on Williams Street behind the police station. I’d like to see a livability story on the neighborhood.

    Change has been slow to come to the people of the Bayview for many reasons; one being poor street design. First they cut it off from the rest of the city with dark looking freeways. And if you ever walk down Third Street, you’ll notice that for about a mile and a half there are only a 5 roads that let you out of the neighborhood. The Caltrain easement is another issue; along with High Speed Rail.

    The City promised the neighborhood a lot with the addition of the T-Third line. Livability is still non-existant as you pass by burned down buildings and boarded up storefronts.

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Advocates Gearing Up for Wednesday MTC Meeting on Stim Funds (Berkeley Daily Planet) The Examiner Reports on SF Chamber’s Misleading Congestion Price Survey  More on the Grim Budget Picture for Bay Area Transit Agencies (Merc) How Do We Make Transit Independent? Cap’n Transit Has Some Ideas  John McCain Confuses Light Rail with High Speed Rail […]