Ald. Khalif J. Rainey, (414) 286-2863

A special $200,000 initiative to increase the number of fresh food options in areas of Milwaukee lacking grocery stores will be closely watched in 2018 by the program’s primary sponsor, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey.

The $200,000 Healthy Food Establishment Fund was approved last month when the Common Council adopted the 2018 city budget.

Alderman Rainey said the fund was established in the Department of City Development to promote fresh food purchase opportunities in neighborhoods lacking such locations. “The goal is to not only look at traditional retail grocery stores, but to also look more broadly at other options including farmer’s markets, mobile grocery delivery services, and other innovative means of marketing fresh food to underserved areas,” he said.

“I can see this initiative making healthier food options more available while also having a positive effect on entrepreneurship, jobs, and the overall health of the community. It’s a win-win-win and I’m excited to see it really start happening in 2018,” Alderman Rainey said.

The Healthy Food Establishment Fund initiative came forward after Alderman Rainey, vice chair of the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, sponsored legislation to move the city to address the problem of “food deserts.” He has noted specifically that his own 7th Aldermanic District has just one grocery store.

“We need to find innovative ways to infuse our underserved areas with fresh, healthy foods, and I am optimistic that this initiative can identify those approaches that truly work,” the alderman said.

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