Sending Office: Honorable Tim Ryan
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Help Eliminate Food Deserts!

Cosponsor the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act (HFAAA)

Endorsed by: Bread for the World, Environmental Working Group, Feeding America, Food Marketing Institute, Food Policy Action, Food Research and Action Center, the Food Trust, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Grocers Association,
U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Reinvestment Fund, American Diabetes Association and Share Our Strength. 


Dear Colleague:

Currently an estimated 37 million Americans live in what the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies as a food desert—not living within a mile of a grocery store in urban communities or 10 miles of a grocery store in rural areas. The lack
of healthy foods has devastating effects on the health of communities, leading to higher incidents of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

This bipartisan bill sets up a system of tax credits and grants for businesses and nonprofits who serve these low-income and low-access urban and rural areas. These incentives to food providers will help to expand access to healthy foods in these underserved
communities and will reduce the number of food deserts nationwide.

In order to qualify for a tax credit or grant for servicing qualifying food deserts, businesses and nonprofits must be certified as a “Special Access Food Provider (SAFP) by the Treasury Department and USDA. With this designation, providers would receive
specified tax credits or grants based on the following structure:

New Store Construction– Companies that construct new grocery stores in a food desert will receive a onetime 15% tax credit after receiving certification.

Retrofitting Existing Structures- Companies that make retrofits to an existing store’s healthy food sections can receive a onetime 10% tax credit after the repairs certify the store as an SAFP.

Food Banks– Certified food banks that build new (permanent) structures in food deserts will be eligible to receive a onetime grant for 15% of their construction costs.

Temporary Access Merchants– Certified temporary access merchants (i.e. mobile markets, farmers markets, and some food banks) that are 501©(3)s ) will receive grants for 10% of their annual operating costs.

For a map of areas in the United States that would qualify to be served as food deserts under this bill, click here.

In a country where obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing, we must find new ways to ensure all Americans have access to fresh and nutritious food. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act is a step in the right direction.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation. To cosponsor, please contact Anne Sokolov my office at



Tim Ryan

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, HealthCare, Taxes

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