Council Member Garza hopes to use incentives to alleviate ‘food deserts’

Council Member Delia Garza, second from left, hopes to tackle the problem of food districts in her Austin district._401746

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After driving hundreds of miles, an Austin City Council member says she has an idea to help solve the problem of “food deserts,” where people live more than 10 miles away from a large grocery store in rural areas or more than one mile away in urban areas.

Council Member Delia Garza, whose district covers much of southeast Austin, went to Houston last week. She visited several stores in a part of the city that used to not have any grocery stores, but got them after the city started providing incentives. Garza says her district faces the same problem.

She met with small business owners and a city of Houston council member to find a solution. The trip to Houston gave her a new idea.

“They were able to find a small family-owned business that was willing to take a risk really — I mean any business is taking a risk and partner with the city, and it’s been successful,” Garza said. “They have been successful thus far.”

Garza says a study done in her district has showed there is high childhood obesity in the same area as food deserts.

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