sb850 21SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce helped champion a new law that will combat food deserts across the state.

“The number of food deserts has increasingly gotten worse over the last few years,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “There is no reason why rural and urban residents should not have easy access to affordable foods.”

Under the new law, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will be required to provide grants and other forms of financial assistance to grocery stores located in or to be located in a food desert. This aims to help mitigate the issue of food deserts across the state. An area is considered a food desert when urban residents have to travel more than a half-mile and rural residents more than 10 miles to get to the nearest grocery store.

Joyce served as a chief cosponsor on the measure.

“Food deserts disproportionately affect lower income communities, causing poor nutrition and health issues,” said Joyce. “By addressing these concerns, we can help promote a healthier lifestyle and improve overall health and well-being for all residents.”

Senate Bill 850 was signed Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases

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